Resilient Together

For more than 80 years, this resilient American beech, known as the “Root Tree” or “Medusa Tree,” has endured bitter winters, withering heat, and the curious hands of generations of visitors. A beloved landmark on Furman University Way at Falls Park in Greenville, South Carolina, the Medusa Tree began its life in the Furman Arboretum on the original Furman campus in the city’s downtown.


Elizabeth Davis

The ability to bounce back, to weather stress and to be better for it – at Furman, resilience means all of these things.

But we are all navigating an extraordinary time. Today, resilience also demands that we meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, parrying, adapting and innovating to ensure we continue to provide students with an unparalleled education, one that enables them to become engaged, responsible citizens. With this as our focus, we’ve instituted health and safety protocols embodied in the Paladin Promise, reimagined classroom instruction and engaged-learning experiences, and taken countless other stabilizing measures throughout the university.

The Furman Advantage

In 2016, President Elizabeth Davis launched The Furman Advantage with $47 million from The Duke Endowment. This integrated pathway, guided by a diverse community of mentors, prepares students for lives of purpose and accelerated career and community impact – demonstrating the value of a Furman education.

Voted ‘Most Innovative School’
4 years in a row
U.S. News & World Report


Engaged learning is at the center of a Furman education. And because of that strong institutional foundation, we have been able to respond flexibly and creatively to the challenges of this moment.

Haley Disinger '20 on Lake Izabal in Guatemalain July of 2019 with students and professors from several countries. Her botanical research was among the digital presentations of students’ engaged learning experiences highlighted during the virtual12th annual Furman Engaged.
Haley Disinger ’20 (front, left) on Lake Izabal in Guatemala in July of 2019 with students and professors from several countries. Her botanical research was among the digital presentations of students’ engaged learning experiences highlighted during the virtual 12th annual Furman Engaged.

Where Excellence Gathers

They come for the rigor, for the mentoring and belonging, and for the intellectual exploration that leads to a purposeful life. Furman is where excellence gathers.

Xinxin (Anna) Zhang ’20
Undergraduate research was “one of my best experiences at Furman,” said Xinxin (Anna) Zhang ’20, of Lanzhou, China, now in graduate school at Columbia University’s Union Theological Seminary. “l could see how an excellent historian who has already published books has done research, and I could learn from him side by side.”


The Meaning of Belonging

A diverse campus community that reflects our entire society is not only necessary to achieve academic excellence – it is the path to a diverse, engaged citizenry capable of leading the way through this pandemic and preparing to overcome the challenges that come next.

A march from Duke Library to Daniel Chapel, honoring Furman’s first African American student, Joseph Vaughn ’68. The now annual Joseph Vaughn Day on Jan. 29, 2020, drew together Vaughn’s family members and the Furman community.


Immense change unfolded at Furman Athletics this year, from the arrival of a new athletics director to a refocusing of the university’s varsity sports.

Furman’s Mike Bothwell ’22 and Jaylon Pugh ’22 react after beating Wofford in the last of three downtown Weekends at the Well games this past season. The score was 67-66.

An Enduring Impact

From weatherizing local homes to providing tax preparation to revealing the effects of gentrification on neighborhoods – Furman students, faculty and staff champion this community and recognize our privilege of being a part of it.

“I learned how interconnected so many aspects of a community truly are and how they can impact, both positively and negatively, its residents.”



Every charitable gift, whether of time, talent or financial resources, is an act of optimism.

Dr. Matthew W. Wilson ’86, a physician and member of the Furman Board of Trustees, is making a planned gift of $4 million to Furman’s Institute for the Advancement of Community Health.
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