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$800,000 Mellon Foundation grant will fund three new faculty positions in the arts

GREENVILLE, S.C.—The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Furman University an $800,000 grant in support of the school’s new initiative to enrich its fine arts program.

The Furman Fine Arts Initiative, which was launched in November 2011 with a $2 million grant from The Duke Endowment, seeks to enhance and expand the university’s programs in music, art and theatre.  The initiative includes a collaborative partnership with the Peace Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Greenville.

According to John Beckford, Furman’s vice president for academic affairs and dean, the Mellon grant will help fund the appointment of three new tenure-track professors—two in music and one in arts administration.  The latter faculty position will be in the Department of Business and Accounting.

“I am thrilled the Mellon Foundation has chosen to support Furman’s efforts to enhance its arts program and become more involved in the creative life of the community,” said president Rod Smolla.  “Coupled with the recent gift from The Duke Endowment, this grant will help the university build upon its strong reputation in the arts and expand its community outreach.”

Beckford said the new faculty positions will provide expertise in lyric theatre (opera and musical theater), musicology and nonprofit business environments such as arts administration.  The positions could be filled as early as this fall.

“These new positions will support our effort to increase student enrollment in the arts, further enhance the university’s fine arts programs, and increase our presence in downtown Greenville through involvement with the Peace Center and other community arts organizations,” Beckford said.

Furman currently offers majors in music, church music, music education, music theory, composition, performance, art and theatre arts.  Beckford said about 20 percent of the student body at Furman participates in the arts curriculum.

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.

Last updated February 17, 2016
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director