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Clearly Furman raises nearly $17 million for student wellness and belonging

Students gather on campus in November of 2023.

Last updated February 22, 2024

By Furman News

Friends and alumni of Furman University have contributed nearly $17 million toward a $30 million goal of promoting wellness and belonging for all students. The amount is part of the $392 million raised toward the overall campaign goal of raising $426 million by 2026 through Clearly Furman, the Campaign for Our Third Century.

The goal, Make Personal Promise Matter, has the following priorities:

  • Academic Commons (James B. Duke Library will become an integrative one-stop student support hub featuring an array of high-touch and high-tech resources and services, including engaged learning, accessibility, academic coaching, time management, peer-assisted learning and faculty development.)
  • Belonging & Well-being (Endowed director of counseling, Healthy Dins endowment, renovation and expansion of the Herman W. Lay Physical Activities Center)
  • Inclusive Campus Initiatives (Seeking Abraham Fund, Center for Inclusive Communities Endowment, Heritage Awareness Endowment, International Student Orientation and Host Family Endowment, International Ambassador Endowment)

Connection, belonging and mattering are the foundations for well-being. These values are the building blocks of The Furman Advantage, the university’s four-year pathway shaped by engaged learning, mentoring and reflection. These building blocks not only support students in their success but make Furman their home. The individualized approach of The Furman Advantage demonstrates care for all students and fosters a sense of mattering, which leads to student success.

“The Furman Advantage is an intellectual, integrative, individualized approach to student success. Our goal is for all students to know they belong at Furman. For students, connectedness leads to well-being, which leads to doing their best and maximizing their educational experience,” said Connie Carson, vice president for student life. “Meeting students where they are when they walk on campus, and ensuring they feel welcome and a part of campus life is a key ingredient to having a successful educational launch that brings joy to their experience.”

Furman has 25 programs focused on creating an inclusive campus and 34 programs designed to foster wellness and belonging.

“Two positive outcomes of fostering belonging are a sense of mattering and institutional affinity,” said Franklin Ellis, associate dean and director of the center for inclusive communities and special assistant to the president for diversity and belonging. “Both improve the well-being of self and others while inspiring a want to give back to improve experiences of future students, which leads to a richly diverse, thriving community.”

This past November, Furman dedicated the Trone Center for Mental Fitness and celebrated a $10 million gift from David ’77 and June Trone that supports the counseling center’s renovation and expanded offerings for students. The gift will fund positions, including a health promotions coordinator dedicated to providing programs, and education and support for students’ emotional, social, spiritual, physical, financial, career, academic and environmental well-being. The facility also offers accommodations for students with sensory needs.

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