Come home to Furman
It’s time to reconnect—to professors, to roommates, to campus and even to Greenville itself, which may be a far cry from what it was the last time you saw it.
Furman University’s Homecoming 2016 is about football and festivities, but at the end of the day, it’s about people.
“Furman is ultimately about relationships,” said Leo Fackler ’03, associate director of alumni and parent engagement. “That’s what makes it a unique place, a special place.”
So, yes, there is a football game. And this year’s matchup, against long-time rival Wofford, is not to be missed. But there is so much more.
Football “is part of the event, it’s not the reason for the event,” said Mike Wilson ’88, executive director of alumni and parent engagement. “They’re coming back to reunite and reconnect.”
Many of this year’s key campus events will be right on the mall, “which is iconic to most students and most alums,” Wilson said.
Rows of tents will form an alumni village, where all the 2016 reunions will be represented. Beyond those tents will be another array for the various departments. Alumni won’t have to wander through buildings, looking for an office they vaguely remember. They can simply move along the mall, easily reconnecting with faces from the past.
“We’re aligning all the energy out on the mall,” said Sarrin Garfield ’03, assistant director of alumni and parent engagement.
In all, 13 classes hold reunions each year. The marquee events are for the 5-, 10-, 25- and 50-year reunions.
The major homecoming events are for everyone, but there are smaller, specialized opportunities to check in on your academic department, your sports team, your affinity group, your fraternity, or sorority—you name it.
For example, artists and art lovers can attend a reception to celebrate the debut of Word and Image, a new exhibition featuring original works by students, alumni, instructors, and staff of Undergraduate Evening Studies.
Or former baseball players can meet the team’s new head coach and take part in an alumni game.
The university is taking the celebration into downtown Greenville as well. This year’s schedule includes a revival of official after-football festivities. Furman on Main will include a band, bar, food— all in a section of downtown that will be decked in purple from fountains to grass to lights.
At the end of the weekend, no one should be able to say, There was nothing for me. An event like homecoming is unique in that it’s not targeted to an audience of any particular age.
“We’re after everybody from 22 to 92,” Wilson said.
All over campus and throughout the community, Furman Homecoming 2016 offers opportunities to gather with friends around the activities you love. If it’s been a while since you’ve been back, you’re in for a surprise when you arrive in downtown Greenville. Below, a few highlights of the weekend on campus and in the community. For a full listing of official Furman events and to register, visit the Furman Homecoming website.
Theatre & film
Nov. 4, campus: Playwright-in-Residence Randall David Cook ’91 will host a reading of his new play, Death at Downton! This special reading experience is hosted by Furman Theatre Arts and sponsored by the Duke Fine Arts Initiative. Location: The Playhouse at Furman University. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Nov. 4 & 5, community: The Reedy Reels Film Festival celebrates the art of motion picture from cinematic storytellers around the globe and promotes visual storytelling through support for independent filmmakers, especially those in the Upstate. Tickets are available by show (three on Friday and four on Saturday) or as passes for either day or for the entire festival. Location: Gunter Theatre, downtown Greenville. Information: reedyreels.com
Nov. 4-6, community: Jekyll & Hyde, the gothic musical thriller, brings to life the epic struggle between good and evil. Based on the classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson and featuring a score of pop rock hits, Jekyll & Hyde is a tale of one man torn in two, and the women in love with both angel and devil. Location: Centre Stage, downtown Greenville. Information: centrestage.org
Nov. 4-6, community: “I’ll Be Back Before Midnight” is a comedy/thriller that has it all: an isolated farmhouse, the hilarious and eccentric neighbor, a malevolent ghost, a manipulative sister, and tales of murder. The plot takes unexpected twists and turns for a night of unforgettable suspense. Location: Greenville Little Theatre, downtown Greenville. Information: greenvillelittletheatre.org
Literature, art & music
Nov. 5, campus: Furman’s premier all-male acapella ensemble, The Bell Tower Boys, will present a 20th anniversary reunion concert. The group sang its first-ever song to a small Furman audience in 1996. Since then, the Boys have toured the Southeast, performing for audiences including Gov. Nikki Haley, the Biltmore Estate, the annual Bell Tower Ball, and many others. Location: Furman Mall. (Rain location: Younts Conference Center.) Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Nov. 5 & 6, community: The Greenville Symphony Orchestra presents Genius Against Tyrant. Canadian piano virtuoso Dmitri Levkovich will shine in Rachmaninoff’s incredibly popular Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The concert concludes with Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony—written after Stalin’s death to depict the suffering and struggles of the Russian people under Stalin’s regime and culminating in the unrestrained joy of liberation in the victorious last movement. Location: Peace Center, downtown Greenville. Information: peacecenter.org
Nov. 4-6, community: Greenville’s Open Studios allows you to experience the life of local artists at work in their studios. Engage with them, learn about artistic processes, enhance or begin your art collection, and be inspired. Open Studios is a self-guided tour that this year features 131 artists in 90 studios. Location: studios are around the community, in a 15-mile radius of downtown Greenville. Information: greenvillearts.com/mac-programs/open-studios/
Nov. 5, campus: Furman alumni authors and Barnes and Noble will co-host a book signing in the campus bookstore. The event will include Mr. Tuck and the 13 Heroes by John Harris ’91 and Sophie Harris ’19, “The Heart of Atlanta” by Nick Thomas, “The Bark of the Bog Owl” by Jonathan Rogers ’91, “A Fine Imitation” by Amber Brock Player ’02, and “Digital Proxemics” by John A. “Mac” McArthur ’02. Location: Barnes and Noble Bookstore. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Nov. 6, community: The Furman Concert Choir will perform at the First Baptist Church of Greenville as part of their worship service. This event will take place in lieu of the Furman Singers Alumni Choir and Furman Worship Service on campus. Location: First Baptist Church, Greenville. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Food and Drink
Nov. 4-6, community: Brewery tours. Arrange a private tour of Greenville breweries or join a regularly scheduled Saturday tour—Afternoon Delight or Twilight Tour. Location: various. Information: thebreweryexperience.com
Nov. 5, community: Furman on Main, the Official Furman Homecoming After Party. Join alumni and friends for an after-party event in downtown Greenville. Retro Vertigo will perform. Advance registration required. Location: Village Green at the Courtyard by Marriott Greenville Downtown. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Sports & fitness
Nov. 4, community: Greenville Swamp Rabbits vs. Orlando. The Greenville Swamp Rabbits play in the South Division of the Eastern Conference of the ECHL, the premiere AA hockey league. The team is affiliated with the New York Rangers of the NHL. Location: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville. Information: bonsecoursarena.com/events
Nov. 4, campus: Fifth Annual Chris Keen ’87 Scholarship Golf Tournament. The tournament benefits the Chris Keen ’87 Endowed Scholarship Fund at Furman, which Fund provides need-based scholarships to Furman legacy students. Shotgun start. Location: Furman University Golf Course. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Nov. 5, community: Paris Mountain Trail 16K. The Greenville Dirt Series is a collection of seven trail races over 11 months at three different parks. The races are designed to test trail running skill and showcase some of the most beautiful parks in the Upstate. The Paris Mountain 16k is a very challenging course which includes several long climbs and descents. Location: Paris Mountain State Park. Information: eventsignup.org
Nov. 6, campus: Furman Paladins vs. Wofford, the football game at the heart of homecoming. Location: Paladin Stadium. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Nov. 4, campus: Carnival, food, float-building and music on the mall, followed by a bonfire and pep rally led by the Furman cheerleaders with an appearance by Coach Bruce Fowler ’81 and the football team captains. Location: Milford Mall. Information: alumni.furman.edu/homecoming/schedule-of-events
Nov. 4-5, community: Random Acts of Scientists, a special program at the Children’s Museum of the Upstate. This week’s program focuses on ethology, the study of animal behavior. Location: Children’s Museum of the Upstate, downtown Greenville. Information: tcmupstate.org