Furman receives $22 million grant to support scholarships

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. — Furman University has received a $22.3 million grant from The Duke Endowment to strengthen and support one of the University’s premier merit scholarship programs, officials announced Thursday.

The grant includes $22 million for the University’s endowment to augment Furman’s James B. Duke Scholarship program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to students who display “exceptional academic achievement and distinctive personal accomplishment.”

The remaining $300,000 is operational funding that will augment the University’s ongoing initiatives to integrate the Duke Scholars’ academic experiences with four years of individual mentoring and advising to prepare them for post-graduation opportunities ranging from careers and service work to graduate and professional education. These initiatives also include opportunities for summer research, internships and study away.

“We have been proud partners with The Duke Endowment for nearly a century, and we are grateful not only for this extraordinary gift but also for the Endowment’s continuing confidence in Furman’s direction going forward,” said President Elizabeth Davis. “It’s a strong signal to others who want to support excellence and the next generation of leaders, particularly at a time when access to higher education is more important than ever. This generous grant will help us attract the most academically talented students to Furman regardless of their financial need, and provide them with experiences that will enrich their academic journey while they are here.”

Based in Charlotte, N.C., and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has awarded more than $3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

Furman University is one of four educational institutions (and the only university in South Carolina) that receive annual financial support from the Endowment.  The others are Davidson College, Duke University and Johnson C. Smith University.

With this most recent gift, The Duke Endowment has awarded a total of $161 million to Furman since 1924.

“This support shows our continued commitment to Furman, its leaders and its students,” said Minor Shaw, chair of the Endowment’s Board. “We are proud to play a role in helping top achievers find a place where they can thrive.”