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‘How Can I Help?’

Jennifer McHan Good ’92 meets with students in the Jennifer McHan Good Collaboratorium. / Owen Withycombe

By creating the space for our students to compete, to learn and to innovate, giving through Furman helps students shape a better future for us all.

By Furman News

Inside this room, you’ll hear questions, ideas and the din of students puzzling over an assignment.
What won’t you hear?

The sheepish “excuse me, excuse me, excuse me” of a latecomer bumping the chairs of their classmates as they make their way to a center seat of a lecture hall. A gift from Jennifer McHan Good ’92 and Edward L. Good Jr. ’89 transformed what had been a windowless computer science amphitheater into a six-windowed, technology-enabled learning space that lets students present their projects and work in groups on four different monitors. It’s called the Jennifer McHan Good Collaboratorium. Students call it the Co-Lab.

When Good and Kevin Treu, chair of the computer science department, spoke at Homecoming, the trouble with the original space came to light: The room needed windows and open space to allow students and instructors to move around the room and work on group projects during class.

“My next question was, ‘How can I help?’” Good recalls. She suggested an open, flexible, tech-friendly model similar to what various companies were starting to build. The reimagined space in Riley Hall was fully completed in April.

“It’s that sort of mentality, that no longer do people come in and sit down at a cubicle and work for eight hours,” she says. “In technology, you have to brainstorm, you have to collaborate, you have to talk to people to understand what they need,” says Good.

This past April, Furman launched Clearly Furman, the Campaign for Our Third Century, to raise $426 million by 2026, the university’s bicentennial. The Goods’ collaboratorium gift is part of the couple’s $2 million campaign commitment to Furman, which also supports FurmanWIN (Women’s Impact Network) and scholarships through the Partners Program for women majoring in computer science. The Goods’ gift – and the ones below – are among several made recently that are helping students to excel in the classroom and prepare for their lives and careers after Furman:

SUPPORTING THE UNIVERSITY’S CAMPAIGN – and sustainable human flourishing on a rapidly warming planet – former Furman president, David Shi ’73, the namesake of The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, committed $1 million to the institute this year. (Read more about climate action.)

A FURMAN EDUCATION WILL BE WITHIN REACH OF MORE STUDENT-ATHLETES because of a $1 million gift from The Jean T. and Heyward G. Pelham Foundation, creating the Jean Timmons Pelham Endowed Scholarship for Furman Athletics. It honors Jean Timmons Pelham ’42, who died in 2004, for her commitment to Furman as a student, a patron of its arts, a sports fan and a supporter of its mission and values. The foundation also made a $500,000 gift for the Timmons Arena Renovation Project, also honoring the legacy of Jean Timmons Pelham, one of the original benefactors of Timmons Arena.

THE NEXT BIG IDEAS – and the thinkers behind them – are getting some pivotal help. More than three-dozen people contributed to the Johnny Flynn ’69 Paladin Pitch Award Fund, which several of Flynn’s fraternity brothers created after his death last year. It gives an annual $10,000 award to the student who wins the Paladin Pitch competition, hosted by The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The group’s goal was $50,000, but the generosity of the Furman community brought the amount to $150,000 in gifts and pledges. The endowed fund will honor Johnny Flynn ’69 in perpetuity.