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Furman giving to Furman

Bell tower at Furman University in spring.

Last updated January 7, 2014

By Furman News

The Because Furman Matters campaign received more than $275 million in gifts from philanthropic foundations.

But University leadership say a groundswell of support from a variety of donors helped Furman surpass the ambitious $400 million goal.

Among Furman’s most ardent supporters have been university faculty and staff. From professors to police officers, more than 80 percent of the university community contributed roughly $10.5 million to the Because Furman Matter Campaign.

Two sitting Presidents – David Shi ’72 and Carl Kohrt ’65 – each made gifts in excess of $1 million, a rarity among peer institutions. Much of Dr. Shi’s gift benefitted the Shi Center for Sustainability while Carl, Ph.D., and Lynne Kohrt’s gift supported endowed scholarships and improvements to the Townes Science Center.

That level of support from those who know the University best does not surprise Phil Howard, director of donor marketing, who has been tracking giving levels at Furman for 18 years.  He says, between 35 and 50 percent of university faculty and staff make an annual donation to Furman. Those giving levels resonate with philanthropic organizations.

“If a foundation is going to give you a major award, they want to make sure you have internal support,” says Howard. “That’s just a good decision on their part.”

While foundation support is important to any university campaign, Howard says support from alumni, faculty and staff, those who have lived and worked at the University, is vital and sends a powerful message.

“When it comes to internal support, this institution is on solid ground,” he says. “Furman believes in Furman,”

Here’s what others have to say:

“Institutional support is critical for providing students with special programs that offer enriching, educational experiences.  As faculty members, we observe first-hand how Furman students are transformed by these programs.  We contribute so that even more students may benefit from them.”

– Marianne Pierce, Ph.D., senior associate academic dean and Bill Pierce, Ph.D., Health Sciences professor and department chair.

“For 30 years I have had the opportunity to work with thousands of undergraduate students in many areas of campus life, and it is both important and rewarding to give back to Furman so we may continue to recruit the best students and provide them with a meaningful undergraduate experience.  In addition, it’s amazing to think that my gift may help establish new scholarships or programs for the next generation of Furman students.”

– Owen McFadden, Ph.D., director of campus recreation and the physical activities center.

“My wife and I benefitted enormously from special opportunities while in college, and we give to Furman to help create these kinds of opportunities for the current generation of students.”

–  Gil Einstein, Ph.D., Psychology professor and department chair.

“We support Furman annually and feel very fortunate to be able to do so.  Furman has provided our family with so many opportunities and we want to do our part to ensure others can share in the Furman experience.  Furman is a special place and we are proud to be a part of this University and community.”

– Brad Pochard, associate vice president of admission and Brianne Pochard, assistant director of grants research and administration.





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