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Furman University is a private, coeducational, non-sectarian university in Greenvillemarker, South Carolinamarker, United Statesmarker. Furman is the oldest, largest and most selective private institution in South Carolina and is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. Founded in 1826, Furman enrolls approximately 2,550 undergraduate and 525 graduate students on its 750 acre (3 km²) campus. Its current president is David Shi, who graduated from Furman in 1973. More of Furman University’s graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D. degrees in recent years than any other private liberal arts college in the South, according to a survey conducted by the University of Chicagomarker's National Opinion Research Center.

Today Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects. Undergraduates come from 46 states and 31 countries.


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Furman was founded in 1826 at Edgefield, SC as a Men's Academy and Theological Institute finally locating in Greenville, South Carolinamarker in 1850. It was named for Richard Furman of Charleston, SC, a prominent minister and president of the first Baptist convention in America, the Trienniel Convention. The original school building from that campus is located on the current Greenville campus today. 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. Furman began construction on its new campus, just five miles (8 km) north of downtown Greenville, in 1956. Classes on the new campus began in 1958.Now a private, non-religiously affiliated 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. However, the university's motto remains Christo et Doctrinae (For Christ and Learning), and, according to Furman University's official website, "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. The Duke Endowment is private foundation established by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke. The market value of the Endowment's assets have grown to approximately $3.5 billion. From 1924-2004, the Endowment has given $2,019,129,375.
Furman University's Hartness Welcome Center, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
The Bell Tower, a frequent icon for the university.


Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects and undergraduates come from 46 states and 31 countries. Furman has produced six Rhodes scholars and 17 Truman scholars.Furman University students have an unusually high acceptance rate into graduate schools. Approximately two-thirds of Furman students will earn graduate degrees. More of Furman University’s graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D. degrees in recent years than any other private liberal arts college in the South, according to a survey conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center.


Furman was ranked no. 15 in the Washington Monthly's Top US Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings based on its production of research valuable to society and its commitment to national service. Furman has been ranked no.4 in U.S. News Best Undergraduate Research Programs along with MIT, Stanford and Michigan. 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 input, meaning the quality of the students the institution attracts, 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) The Chronicle of Higher Education also ranked Furman no. 32 in the nation for the percentage of National Merit Scholars in its 2005-2006 freshman class.

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. The Princeton Review's survey of 120,000 college students for the "Best 368 Colleges: 2009 Edition" ranked Furman University as number 9 in their top 10 most socially conservative schools.


A 40-acre (0.1-km²) lake is at the center of the 750 acre (3-km²), wooded campus with most buildings being Georgian-style architecture. Many academic buildings and student residences stand around the lake, including the Bell Tower. The Bell Tower figures highly in school insignias and is a replica (within 1/16th of an inch) 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 as well. To add to the campus's extensive merit for aesthetic beauty, the 1996 Fiske Guide to Colleges referred to Furman's campus as a "shining jewel." Also, the 1997 Princeton Review ranked Furman fifth in its list of beautiful campuses, this based on student ratings of campus beauty. Students are required to live on campus all four years.
Furman's Johns Hall in winter.
However, during a student's senior year, s/he may be eligible to live off campus through a lottery. There are two residence complexes (called Lakeside and South Housing), as well as four housing cabins which make up Bell Tower Housing. Most juniors and all seniors live in North Village Apartments, located near the Bell Tower.

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. The south campus housing contains the Geer, Manly, Poteat, Blackwell and McGlothlin dorms. The lakeside housing includes the Gambrell, Ramsey, Judson, Townes, McBee, Haynsworth, and Chiles dorm. All student housing has air-conditioning, closets, wired/wireless internet access, and washer/dryer usage. The North Village is an apartment complex built for the juniors and mainly seniors that offers apartment style living for upperclassmen. North Village apartments offer two or four bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, large patio/balcony, two large vanity areas, two bathrooms and lots of closet and storage space. Within each bedroom, a full-size bed, desk, desk chair and dresser/hutch is provided for each resident.
Furman's Daniel Chapel


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 in the Daniel Hall. Paladen food court offers Chick-Fil-A, Moe's Southwest Grill, and Pan Geos. Furman also has a dining facility named Tower Cafe; there students can get coffee from Starbucks.

Student government

Furman University Student Government (known as AFS or Association of Furman Students) works under a semi-Presidential system. AFS is made up of the executive council, and president, secretary, and two senators for each class. The class officers are assigned within one of six committees to specialize in a particular area of student needs.

Fraternities and sororities

Furman Housing and Residence Life delegates halls and lounges for campus fraternities and sororities. Furman University has eight fraternities and seven sororities. Fraternities on campus:Tau Kappa Epsilon, Pi Kappa Phi, Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Kappa Alpha Order, Sigma Chi, and Kappa Alpha Psi. Sororities on campus: Alpha Delta Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gammamarker, and Alpha Kappa Alpha.


Furman Paladins logo
Furman competes in NCAA Division I athletics as the Paladins. 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 1961 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. 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 and has 32 former student-athletes competing at the professional level- the most of any Southern Conference member school.


In 1988 Furman won the NCAA I-AA National Football Championship. Furman also appeared in the 1985 and 2001 NCAA I-AA National Football Championship game, but lost (to Georgia Southernmarker and Montana, respectively). Furman, Colgatemarker, Lehigh and Richmond remain the only private universities that have appeared in the I-AA Football Championship game, and Furman was the first private school to win it, with Richmond becoming the second 20 years later. Over the past few years, Furman's football team has been consistently ranked in the top 3 spots in the NCAA I-AA polls, and recently climbed to no. 1 in the nation in the latest Sports Network polls . The Paladins have also claimed 12 Southern Conference football titles, more than any school in league history. Furman has only won one national championship and that was in football.


Furman has had several successful golf teams, especially in women's golf. Few collegiate woman golf programs have produced more outstanding professionals than Furman, which boasts 11 former Lady Paladins on the LPGA tour, including two Hall of Fame inductees (Betsy King and Beth Daniel). Furman has claimed 13 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championships. It should also be noted that PGA Tour players Brad Faxon Stuart Cook and Bruce Fleisher played for the Paladins.


The men's soccer team has been ranked as high as no. 3 in the nation and has produced a share of professional players. Former star Clint Dempsey, who now plays club soccer for Fulhammarker in the English Premier League was the only American player to score a goal at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany . Dempsey also scored notable goals in both the US upset of Spain in 2009 and the near defeat of Brazil in 2009 . Ricardo Clark, a current member of the United States Men's National Soccer Team and the Houston Dynamo also played soccer for Furman. Current MLS players, Shea Salinas of the San Jose Earthquakes and Jonathan Leathers of the Kansas City Wizards also played for the Paladins.


Furman men's tennis coach Paul Scarpa the all-time winningest coach in American college tennis history, with a record spanning over 830 wins. A Florida State Alum, he is a member of the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, USTA Southern Section Hall of Fame, inventor of popular clay-court line Tenex, and has coached 108 All-Southern Conference players in his illustrious 46 year career.


Furman's Rugby Club team won the East Coast Collegiate Division III Championship three years in a row from 2003-2005. Started in 1998, the club excels in Division III rugby union.

Notable alumni


Notable faculty

Points of interest

The James B.
Duke Library



External links

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