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Statue honoring Furman’s first Black student can help change ‘reality of racism’

On the eve of the unveiling of the Joseph Vaughn statue on the campus of Furman University, The State publishes an op-ed by Elizabeth Davis, the university’s 12th president. In it, she chronicles the history leading up to Vaughn’s arrival on campus in 1965 as the first Black man to enroll at Furman, his stellar career while at Furman, and his accomplishments after graduating cum laude with degrees in English and French.

About the life-size bronze sculpture of Vaughn, she writes, “Furman’s campus is adorned with many statues, bronze replicas of athletes and important figures from our past. Until now, everywhere our students, faculty, staff and visitors of color looked, they saw the figures we chose to exalt, and none looked like them.”

The Joseph Vaughn statue will be unveiled Friday, April 16, at 1 p.m. at the Joseph Vaughn Plaza in front of the James B. Duke Library. Read Davis’ op-ed here.

Last updated April 16, 2021
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director