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Furman History and Traditions

History of Founders' Day

Founders’ Day was first observed on December 5, 1920 in remembrance of Dr. James C. Furman (first President of Furman University 1859-1879), who was born on December 5, 1809, son of the university's namesake, Richard Furman (1755-1825).

Held annually, the event was moved in 1924 to October 9 in remembrance of the birthday of Richard Furman. The observance was moved again in 1928 to the month of January and remained there for many years.

In the spring of 1990, Founder’s Day began to be observed as part of Founders’ Week which was in the spring.

The first Founders Day Convocation was held on January 11, 1954, in honor of Dr. John L. Plyler's completion of fifteen years as President 1938-1953. The program was held on Furman's Woman's College campus in the David M. Ramsay Fine Arts Building.

The second Founders' Day Convocation was held on January 14, 1976 in observance of the 150th anniversary of Furman's founding (1816-1976).  

Richard Furman, 1755-1825  

Richard Furman imageJames Clement Furman, ca. 1850s

James C. Furman photo