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Furman University

Furman University – Greenville, South Carolina


South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Greenville County Photos  |  Furman University

Furman University, founded in 1826, is one of our state’s oldest colleges. The school was named after Reverend Richard Furman, a prominent Baptist minister in Charleston who was responsible for the initial groundwork and establishment of the college. (Reverend Furman originally hailed from New York and had also served the High Hills Baptist Church in Stateburg.)

Furman University

Calvin Kelley, Sr of Mauldin, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The university has had three different homes in South Carolina, its first being in Edgefield where it was founded as an academy and theological institute. In 1850, it became a university and moved its campus to Greenville. Furman’s theological institute broke away from the academy in 1858 and became the Southern Baptist Seminary, which is now located in Kentucky. Furman University merged with Greenville Woman’s College in 1938 and moved to a larger campus north of Greenville in 1953.

Furman severed its formal ties with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and became an independent university in 1992. Today, Furman offers a wide variety of majors, but it has always been a liberal arts college first and foremost.

This proud university has produced some of our most successful American citizens including two governors, two US Congressmen, 17 Truman Scholars, six Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel Laureate, and a Pulitzer Prize winner!

Furman University’s mascot is a knight on a horse. The athletic teams are called the Paladins, which is defined as a “paragon of chivalry; a heroic champion; a strong supporter or defender of a cause.” The nickname was first used by a Greenville sportswriter in the 1930s who used the word “paladin” to describe Furman’s basketball team. The student body voted in 1961 to make the nickname official.

Photographer Calvin Kelley says, “This tower has a story behind it that was recently told to me by my dentist. The story is, if you kiss your girl in the tower, she will become your bride.”

We have even received stories that have backed up this local legend!

Don Lloyd from Marion County remembers spending many nights strolling the Furman campus with his future wife during their high school years in Greenville. He writes: “The lake and bell tower was (and probably still is) the best date spot in Greenville. The lake is incredibly beautiful and always seemed to impress a date. Of course, no visit would be complete without an excursion to the tower. I suppose that my attempts to be romantic were not the real reason she married me. I now know it was the power of the tower.”

Furman alumnae Laura Godfrey says that “in the spring of 2007, my senior year at Furman University, my boyfriend Mike kissed me in the belltower. I am so happy to tell you that we are getting married next summer in Furman’s Daniel Chapel. I guess the story is true!”

If you have a personal experience to back this local legend up, please write us and let us know!

See another beautiful photo of the Furman Bell Tower.

Furman University Info


Address: 3300 Poinsett Highway, Greenville, SC 29613
Website: http://www2.furman.edu/

Furman University Map



Furman University – Add Info and More Photos


The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Furman University, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


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