American Football Database
Furman University
MottoChristo et Doctrinae
Motto in EnglishFor Christ and Learning
EndowmentUS$582 million [1] Beneficiary of Duke Endowment
PresidentRodney A. Smolla
Academic staff272
LocationGreenville, South Carolina, United States
750-acre (304 ha)
Athletics21 varsity teams
ColorsRoyal Purple and White          
AthleticsDivision I
MascotSir Paladin & Fury
AffiliationsSouthern Conference

Furman University is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. Furman is one of the oldest[2] institutions in South Carolina. Founded in 1826, Furman enrolls approximately 2,700 undergraduate and 525 graduate students on its 750-acre (304 ha) campus.

In recent years, more Furman University graduates have gone on to earn more Ph.D. degrees than those of any other private liberal arts college in the South, according to a survey conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center.[3] Today Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects. Most of Furman's 2,700 undergraduates are from the South Atlantic region, but more than 40 states and 15 foreign countries are represented in the student population. Furman is a member of Associated Colleges of the South.


File:Furman University - old campus, Greenville, South Carolina.jpg

1909 postcard of Furman University, Greenville

Furman was founded in 1826 at Edgefield, SC as a Men's Academy and Theological Institute. It relocated in Greenville, South Carolina in 1850. It was named for Richard Furman of Charleston, SC, a prominent minister and president of the first Baptist convention in America, the Triennial Convention.[4] The original school building from that campus was transported to the Greenville campus, where it still stands. In 1933, students from the Greenville Women's College began attending classes with Furman students. Shortly thereafter, the two schools merged to form the present institution.

In 1956 Furman began construction on its new campus, just five miles (8 km) north of downtown Greenville. Classes on the new campus began in 1958. Now a private, secular university, Furman was founded by, and affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention until separating in the 1991 - 1992 school year. The university's motto remains Christo et Doctrinae (For Christ and Learning). According to Furman University's official website, the university "is rooted in the non-creedal, free church Baptist tradition which has always valued particular religious commitments while insisting not only on the freedom of the individual to believe as he or she sees fit but also on respect for a diversity of religious perspectives...". Furman University is part of the Duke Endowment and has been a beneficiary of the endowment since 1926. The Duke Endowment is a private foundation established by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke. The market value of the Duke Endowment's assets have grown to approximately $3.5 billion. From 1924-2007, the Duke Endowment has given Furman $110 million,[5] which is 5% of the Duke Endowment's total awards.

The current president is Rodney A. Smolla, formerly the Dean of Washington and Lee University's law school. He became the 11th president of the university, effective July 1, 2010.[6] replacing David E. Shi, a 1973 alumnus of Furman. Shi has been a national leader in colleges' working to promote sustainability and to become carbon neutral.


Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects. Undergraduates come from 46 states and 31 countries. Furman has produced six Rhodes scholars and 17 Truman scholars.[7]


The Bell Tower, an icon of the university.

The middle 50 percent of SAT scores for the class entering Fall 2010 had the ranges: Verbal: 590 to 690, Quantitative: 590 to 690, Total: 1200 to 1380.[8] However, neither SAT nor ACT scores are required for admission.[9]

All students must complete general education requirements as part of the liberal arts curriculum. The general education requirements include mind and body wellness, textual analysis, two natural sciences, math/formal reasoning, two empirical studies of human behavior, history, ultimate question, foreign language, and world culture.


Furman is consistently ranked one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. Furman was ranked no. 15 in the list of the Washington Monthly "Top US Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings", based on its production of research valuable to society and its commitment to national service.[10]

The university's engaged learning academic program, which promotes problem-solving, project-oriented, experience-based education, has received high praise from The Princeton Review, Peterson's Competitive Colleges , The Fiske Guide to Colleges and The College Board College Handbook. In terms of the quality of the students, Furman was ranked no. 30 in the SSRN's "U.S Colleges and Universities Preference Rankings" (based on the choice to enroll of high-achieving students in US)[11] The Chronicle of Higher Education noted Furman was no. 32 in the nation for the percentage of National Merit Scholars in its 2005-2006 freshman class.[12]

Furman was ranked no. 2 on The Daily Beast's 2011 edition of "Most Rigorous Colleges in America."[13] U.S. News and World Report ranked Furman 42nd in its 2011 list of the nation's top liberal arts schools, the highest ranking of any South Carolina institution in that category. Overall, the school was ranked 81st out of 700 nationally in combined rankings of both research universities and liberal arts schools. In 2012, Furman was ranked the 13th most rigorous school in the United States by Newsweek.[14]

According to a report from the American Institute of Physics, Furman is one of 35 schools whose physics departments offer a bachelor’s as their highest degree to average 10 or more undergraduate degrees for the classes of 2003, 2004 and 2005.[15] By survey, The Princeton Review ranked Furman University as number 9 in their top 10 most socially conservative schools in 2009.[16]


A 40-acre (16.2 ha) lake is at the center of the 750-acre (304 ha) , wooded campus. Most buildings are of Georgian-style architecture. Many academic buildings and student residences stand around the lake, including the Bell Tower, which figures highly in school insignias and is a replica of the tower that once existed on the men's campus in downtown Greenville. Today, the campus is anchored by its newly expanded 128,000-square foot (12,000 m²) James B. Duke Library. Informally known as "The Country Club of the South," Furman was named one of the 362 most beautiful places in America by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

The fall 1997 issue of Planning for Higher Education names Furman as a benchmark campus for its landscaping. The 1997 Princeton Review ranked Furman fifth in its list of beautiful campuses, based on student ratings of campus beauty. Students are required to live on campus, except senior year when they may participate in a lottery for a chance to live off campus.

File:Furman library.jpg

The James B. Duke Library

On the north side of the lake are the four Greenbelt housing cabins,[17] and the Cliffs Cottage, which is a "green" building built as a showcase home in conjunction with Southern Living magazine.[18] Most juniors and seniors live in North Village Apartments, located on the north side of the Cliffs Cottage. The remaining upperclassmen are either placed in dorm-style residence halls or enter a lottery to receive an apartment in The Vinings, an apartment complex next to campus owned by the university. There are two other residence complexes (called Lakeside and South Housing) which house freshmen and sophomores. The campus also includes an Asian Garden, the centerpiece of which is the Place of Peace, a Buddhist temple moved to the site from Japan and reconstructed by traditional carpenters. A replica of the cabin that Henry David Thoreau inhabited while writing On Walden Pond is located on the west side of the lake.[19]

Student life

Undergraduate student housing

All full-time students, except those who are married or living at home with their parents or guardians, are required to live on campus in university housing. Furman undergraduates can choose between south campus housing and lakeside housing. South Housing includes the Geer, Manly, Poteat, Blackwell and McGlothlin dorms. Lakeside Housing includes the Gambrell, Ramsey, Judson, Townes, McBee, Haynsworth, and Chiles dorm. All student housing has air-conditioning, closets, wireless Internet access, and washer-dryer usage. The North Village is an apartment complex that offers apartment-style living for upperclassmen. North Village apartments offer two or four bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, balcony, two vanity areas, two bathrooms and closet and storage space. Within each bedroom, a full-size bed, desk, desk chair and dresser/hutch is provided for each resident.

File:Furman welcome.jpg

Furman University's Hartness Welcome Center, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid


Furman University students are required to have a meal plan and freshmen are required to have an unlimited meal plan. The main dining facility is the Daniel Dining Hall. Renovated in 2006, Daniel Hall offers buffet-style dining and an Einstein Bros. Bagels location upstairs. The PalaDEN, dubbed the "P-Den" by students, offers Chick-Fil-A, Moe's Southwest Grill, Freshens, and Pan Geos. In 2011, a Barnes and Noble was built on campus, where students can get coffee from the Barnes and Noble Cafe which features Starbucks products.

Student government

Furman University Student Government Association (SGA) works under a semi-Presidential system. SGA is made up of the executive council, and president, secretary, and two senators for each class. Each class elects a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, . Upon election council members are assigned within one of six committees to specialize in a particular area of student needs.

Fraternities and sororities

Furman University has eight fraternities and seven sororities. Fraternities on campus: Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, and Sigma Nu.[20] Sororities on campus: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Delta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma.[21] The school also has two music based fraternities including Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a men's social fraternity with emphasis in music, along with Sigma Alpha Iota, a primarily female professional music organization.



Furman Paladins logo

Furman competes in NCAA Division I athletics and is one of the smallest NCAA Division I schools in the nation. Furman fields 18 men’s and women’s teams, as well as 16 club sports and many intramural teams.[22] The university is a member of the Southern Conference. Furman is the only liberal arts college to be ranked in Sports Illustrated Top 100 America's Best Sports Colleges[23] and has 32 former student-athletes competing at the professional level - the most of any Southern Conference member school.[citation needed]

The team nickname, the Paladins, was first used by a Greenville, South Carolina, sportswriter in the 1930s. For many years the name “Paladins” just referred to Furman’s basketball team. Until 1963 the school’s baseball teams were known as the "Hornets" and the football teams as the "Hurricanes". On September 15 of that year, the student body voted to make "Paladins" the official nickname of all of the university's intercollegiate athletic teams.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

  • Jay Bocook - Music, composer of music for 1984 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies in Los Angeles
  • Thomas T. Goldsmith Jr. - Physics, television pioneer, video game inventor
  • Mark Kilstofte - Music, winner of the American Academy in Rome's Rome Prize for 2002-2003 [24]

Points of interest

File:Furman Hall.jpg

Furman's Johns Hall in winter

  • Doughboy Statue, honoring Furman students who served in World War I
  • Daniel Chapel Organ
  • The Bell Tower and Burnside Carillon (a 59 bell carillon by Van Bergen)
  • Furman's special collections department houses the South Carolina Baptist Historical Collection and the South Carolina Poetry Archives.


  1. "Part One" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  2. "About | History of Furman | Furman University". Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  4. "Furman University History". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  5. "Duke Endowment: Partners in Progress". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  6. "Rodney Smolla Named 11th President of Furman University". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  7. "About Furman".
  8. Planning and Institutional Research. "Students". Furman University. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  9. "First-Year Applicants". Furman University. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  10. Washington Monthly Online. ""The Washington Monthly College Guide " by The Editors". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  12. "Furman's National Merit Scholars".
  13. "College Rankings 2011: Most Rigorous - Newsweek and The Daily Beast". 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  16. "Top 10 Most Socially Conservative Colleges - MSN Encarta". Top 10 Most Socially Conservative Colleges - MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31.
  17. "Engaged Living's Greenbelt Community". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  18. "The Cliffs Cottage". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  19. "The Simple Cabin by the Lake". Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  20. Furman University Office of Marketing and Public Relations. "Organizations: :". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  21. "Furman Panhellenic Council - Welcome". Retrieved 2010-11-29.
  22. "About Furman University". Retrieved 2010-01-05.

External links

Coordinates: 34°55′33″N 82°26′8″W / 34.92583°N 82.43556°W / 34.92583; -82.43556

de:Furman University fr:Université Furman