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Daniel Mickel Foundation awards university $300,000 grant to endow scholarship fund

GREENVILLE, S.C.—The Daniel Mickel Foundation of Greenville has awarded Furman University a $300,000 grant to endow a scholarship program that assists students facing extraordinary financial circumstances.

The Furman United program was created in 2009 to assist students who were experiencing unexpected economic hardships due to the recession. Since that time, Furman alumni and friends have donated $800,000 to the scholarship fund, and more than 115 students have benefitted from the program.

“This generous award from the Daniel Mickel Foundation will extend the reach of Furman United and establish a permanent endowed fund to ensure ongoing support for students facing difficult financial circumstances,” said Mike Gatchell, Furman’s vice president for development. “The award is also a matching challenge gift that encourages others to support the program.”

Katie Shaw Howell, a 1999 Furman graduate and a trustee of the foundation, says, “We want students to be as financially unencumbered as possible so that there are fewer obstacles to their success. We are very excited about backing this effort, particularly because it offers so many ways to contribute and provide assistance for these students.”

Furman United funds are available to students on a case-by-case basis, and students can apply for assistance through the university’s Financial Aid office.

“Endowing Furman United provides stability for this type of financial assistance, which is the most tangible expression of compassion that the university can show to families who find themselves in dire financial situations,” said Forrest Stuart, Furman’s associate vice president for financial aid.

The Daniel Mickel Foundation has a long history of support for Furman, including recent grants to the Center for Vocational Reflection (Lilly Center) and the Heller Service Corps. The Daniel and Mickel families’ generosity is recognized on campus in the dining hall and chapel, both named for Charles E. Daniel; the Homozel Mickel Daniel Music Building; and the Minor Herndon Mickel Tennis Center.

Charles Daniel founded Daniel Construction Co., which built much of the campus. Upon her death in 1992, his wife, Homozel Mickel Daniel, bequeathed more than $55 million to 14 colleges and universities. Furman received approximately $24.5 million from the estate in property and financial assets, including White Oaks, now the president’s home.

The Daniels’ nephew, Buck Mickel, and his wife, Minor, maintained the family tradition of support for Furman. As chair of the board of trustees in the early 1990s, Minor Mickel provided steady leadership during Furman’s separation from the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

To see student testimonials, go to the Furman United website.

For more information, contact John Kemp in the Development office at 864-294-3717 or

Last updated March 14, 2016
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director