For alumni and friends
of the university

Change a Life, Change a World

Furman Farm Manager Bruce Adams examines farm produce with students.

By Staff Report

Support the next angel investor or eco-champion – or open a door to a world that was once unimaginable. Gifts to Furman bring the change we seek.


It’s an act of deep optimism, but one shaped by the reality that we can all do something to bring positive change in society. One way is by making gifts in the hopes of driving progress in the world and doing so in a manner that may ripple across generations. These three recent gifts show what’s possible at Furman. 


Do you ever wonder how angel investors and venture capitalists decide which startups to fund and which to pass up? The Clemens Angel Analyst Fellowship, announced in 2022, is a collaboration with VentureSouth, a Greenville, South Carolina-based firm that funds startups in the Southeast. The eight-week fellowship gives eight to 10 students deep experience in new venture investment, teaching them the skills they need, says Chase Clemens ’22, who served two years as chair of Furman’s Investment Banking Club. The students are then eligible for a paid internship with VentureSouth. 


An anonymous donor is helping to bring new perspectives to sustainability and environmental sciences by creating a scholarship for Black women. The Marjorie Schmidt Scholarship arose from a $1.3 million gift to the university in memory of the Greenville, South Carolina, resident and benefactor of environmental and conservation causes, who died in 2004. The Marjorie Schmidt Scholarship reflects Schmidt’s lifelong commitment to conservation, and also the university’s mission advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Introductory sustainability and environmental sciences courses haven’t historically drawn students of color at the same rates as their white peers. 

“I think the only way to fix this is to bring more people and proactively reach out to candidates of color who may have interest in these areas and attract them to Furman,” says Suresh Muthukrishnan, chair of Furman’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences. 


Former Furman Trustee Peace Sullivan’s $1 million donation to the university supports the Mary Peace Endowed Scholarship, an endowed fund named for her mother, Mary Peace Sterling, and herself. Scholarships from the endowment will go to students with demonstrated financial need. 

“I understand how hard it is for many students to come up with tuition,” says Sullivan. “My hope is that Furman will be able to reach out and embrace students who wouldn’t otherwise think of the university as a possibility” because of financial constraints. 

Sullivan’s father was Charles Sterling ’49; her grandmother was Frances Bunnelle ’23. Her mother served on a presidential advisory board from 1976 to 1994, and on the Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2001. Sullivan was a trustee from 2008 to 2021.