For alumni and friends
of the university

Letter From the President

Elizabeth Davis, president, Furman University.

By Elizabeth Davis

In my experience, there is one thing that lives in the heart of each member of the Furman family. 

The desire to create a better future for others.  

This may mean bringing a Furman education within reach of more students, including those from underrepresented communities. Or helping to advance healthcare and practitioners so that more people benefit from care and innovation, as one of many examples of community impact. And, of course, investing in Furman’s ability to attract outstanding students, faculty and staff, who will then power the progress we hope to see in the world. 

We have a pathway and a destination – to be a recognized leader for innovative education and solutions to the world’s greatest challenges. The way each of us helps to shape this future is different. But a desire for positive change and impact, a sense of mission, and a clear idea of how each of us can help, is a purpose shared across the Furman family. 

It is this hope, accompanied by action, that is a defining part of our institutional culture. And I am inspired by the vast capacity of our Furman family not to simply imagine a better future but to ask, “What can I do?” 

Giving through Furman – whether through your time, talent or treasure – is a powerful, personal answer to this very Furman question. I am honored and excited to announce Clearly Furman, the Campaign for Our Third Century. This campaign, the largest in our history, will provide resources that will strengthen our place as a leader in higher education and community impact, while providing our students with the mentoring, engaged learning experiences, classroom excellence and sense of belonging they need to make a difference through lives of meaning. 

In this special campaign issue of Furman magazine, you’ll meet alumni, students and friends of Furman whose stories illustrate the power of a Furman education and the opportunities made possible by giving through Furman. Read about a $10 million gift to transform Timmons Arena from businessman and philanthropist Ravenel B. Curry III ’63 – a gift that comes as we celebrate the remarkable success of the men’s basketball team, which captured the 2023 SoCon Championship for the first time since 1980.

Be inspired by the career in medicine that Britany V. Bonilla-Martinez ’24 is preparing to chart after graduation, in which she will work to reduce health disparities between patient populations. And experience how some names – Townes, Timmons, Lay and so many others – have the power to evoke prestige, timelessness and the highest ideals born of a liberal arts and sciences education. 

And these are just a few examples of the stories in this issue that highlight the impact of the Furman family on our past, present and future. The Clearly Furman campaign is a historic endeavor, and one that will take all of us pulling together. With the support of donors and advocates, devoted alumni who are ready to help, and an outstanding faculty and staff, the possibilities for our students and communities, now and for generations to come, are endless. 

With a clear understanding of what sets Furman apart, we have focused since 2016 on an innovative four-year experience we call The Furman Advantage, and how it prepares students for immediate impact in their careers and communities. At the same time, we have expanded the role of our institutes to focus on real-world problem-solving in innovation and entrepreneurship, community health, sustainable communities, and public policy, education and diversity. 

We’ll never stop improving on this important work. After all, Furman itself has evolved and thrived for nearly 200 years – across world wars, economic hardship and profound social and cultural change. From our founding in 1826 through our relocation from downtown Greenville in 1958, from Furman’s desegregation in 1965 and break with the South Carolina Baptist Convention in 1992, this university has embraced progress and change while remaining committed to our mission and vision. 

Today’s Furman is ready to be bold once more. Please join us.