A $22.3 million grant from The Duke Endowment to Furman University will support one of the Furman’s top merit scholarship programs, the University announced Thursday.
The grant will add $22 million to Furman’s endowment to augment its James B. Duke Scholarship program, which provides full-tuition scholarships to students who display “exceptional academic achievement and distinctive personal accomplishment,” according to the scholarship requirements.
Currently, 39 Furman students receive the scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition, said Vince Moore, Furman spokesman. Tuition this year is $45,632.
The remaining $300,000 in The Duke Foundation gift 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,” Furman President Elizabeth Davis said.
“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,” Davis said.
With this most recent gift, The Duke Endowment has awarded a total of $161 million to Furman since 1924, when the foundation was started by industrialist and philanthropist James Buchanan Duke.
“There’s no worry that those (scholarships) would go away because of a financial constraint,” she said. “What that does is it gives the university so much more flexibility to meet students’ needs, to attract the right kinds of students who want to be at Furman and who can be successful at Furman.”
“This support shows our continued commitment to Furman, its leaders and its students,” said Minor Shaw, chair of The Duke Endowment’s Board. “We are proud to play a role in helping top achievers find a place where they can thrive.”
The gift will continue to support the full tuition scholarships, which are available for up to 10 students per class, Moore said.
The added operational funds allows Furman to add experiences for the cohorts of students who receive the scholarships, like individual mentoring and group activities, that add value to their education, Davis said.
The Duke Endowment shares a name with both Duke University and Duke Energy, though each are separate entities. The endowment supports programs benefiting higher education, health care, child services and rural church life in the Carolinas.
Furman is one of four educational institutions that receive annual financial support from the Endowment. The others are Davidson College, Duke University and Johnson C. Smith University.