President Elizabeth Davis
Reflection lives at the core of The Furman Advantage – and, really, all that we do at Furman University. It is how we take what we’ve learned and understand and grow from it. Reflection helps us to better understand our purpose and what constitutes a meaningful life.
It is with this in mind, along with our commitment to ensuring that all in our community feel welcome, that Furman recently revised its Vision, Mission and Values Statements. A working group of students, faculty, staff, alumni and trustees drafted the new statements, focusing on who we are, where we want to go, and what defines us as a university community. We introduced our new statements this past spring, beginning the new year by recommitting ourselves to our calling.
This past spring we also celebrated Joseph Vaughn ’68, Furman’s first Black undergraduate student, on what is now the annual Joseph Vaughn Day, on Jan. 29, and then on April 16, when we dedicated a statue in Vaughn’s honor – placed on a plaza bearing his name, in front of the Duke Library at the academic heart of our university.
We see Joe Vaughn and all he stood for in our vision, mission and values. He inspires us to commit ourselves to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion. For many in our community, his statue is a beacon for belonging, as it is the first major representation of a person of color on our campus.
As we look to the horizon, we are guided by our new vision of “inspiring purposeful living and fostering thriving communities through learning, creativity and innovation.” We do this by continuing our commitment to outstanding undergraduate education and by broadening our academic footprint to benefit our students and the community through our institutes, advanced-degree programs, and new learning and service opportunities. We do this by creating a sense of belonging for all who are a part of Furman.
Moreover, our values complement and shape our vision and mission, “calling on us to meet the challenges and responsibilities of a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world with courage, moderation, justice, wisdom and humility.” Now more than ever, how we treat each other and care for our communities must be guided and driven by our values.
As Furman prepares for our third century, I am grateful to all of the members of our community who helped us to refocus our vision, mission and values – and to all who help us to live and fully realize them every day. We are Furman.