Skip to Main Content

Furman History and Traditions

Please e-mail with comments & questions.

Historic Stained Glass from Judson Alumni Hall

The Furman Course Catalog of 1899-1900 describes the new Alumni Hall that had been erected on the downtown campus. Designed by South Carolina native William Augustus Edwards, the cost was said to be twenty thousand dollars. 

"The building is modern in construction and contains, besides two lecture rooms and two spacious halls for the Adelphian and Philosophian Societies, a large auditorium  . . . will seat nearly a thousand persons . . . . The windows of the entire building are of opal art glass, affording a soft mellow light with a pleasing effect."

The building was later named the Judson Alumni Hall in honor of long-time professor and Dean Dr. Charles H. Judson (1820-1901). 

The 1900 Commencement exercises were held in the new building, and visitors to that function immediately commented on the fifteen stained-glass windows fixed inside the Hall. Manufactured by the F.J. Cooledge Art Glass Company of Atlanta, the windows figured prominently in The Baptist Courier’s descriptions of the Commencement.

“It was a happy thought of the building committee,” the Courier wrote, “to adopt the memorial window feature.” “The windows place[d] before the students and the coming generations the names of men who helped to make the University and the denomination (Baptists) in South Carolina.”[i]

The larger windows on the ground floor consisted of separate top and bottom panels. Some of these bottom panels included what were called "memorial" panels, being dedicated to a person of importance to Furman or South Carolina Baptists.[ii]

With the move to the new campus in the 1950s, the panels were removed, crated and sent to Furman Leaded and Stained Glass Co., Birmingham, Ala. [owned by a great-great-grandson of the university's namesake] for refurbishing with plans to use them in the proposed chapel on the new campus.[iii] When those plans were put on hold, the crated panels were returned to the university and put in storage, not to be accessed again until 2003 when the James B. Duke Library was undergoing renovation. The panels currently grace the library and other buildings on campus. 


[i] “The Alumni Hall.” 21 June 1900. The Baptist Courier, p. 5.

[ii] Minutes of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Session of the Spartanburg Baptist Association. 1900. Greenville: Keys & Thomas, p. 7.

[ii] Letter from C.H. Clawson, Resident Engineer, to Furman Leaded and Stained Glass Company, April 6, 1959. Pres. John L. Plyler Papers, RG 03/010, Box 72, folder 15.

Current Location of Window Panels

Microfilm records for churches beginning with A
Motto/Inscription Building Current Location
Rev. Jas C. Furman D.D., Born 1809, Died 1891, First President of the University. "He walked with God and served mankind." Library Special Collections hallway
Rev. Charles Manly D.D., President F.U., 1880-1898, "A faithful and wise steward." Library Top panel - Library Director's Office; Bottom panel - Pitts Room
Thos. P. Smith, Eighteen Years President Board of Trustees, Integrity of life is fame’s best friend. Top panel - Hipp Hall; Bottom panel - Library Business & Accounting, Hipp Hall; Library - Pitts Room
John Belton O’Neall, Born 10th April 1795, Died 27th Dec. 1863, "The Apostle of Temperance in S.C." Library Top panel - Library Administration; Bottom panel - Pitts Room
Judge B.C. Pressley, Feby 1815. Sept. 1894, "The ermine of his judicial office was not more pure than his character as a man." Top panel - Plyler Hall, Bottom panel - Library Top panel - Patrick Auditorium, Bottom panel - Pitts Room
J A W Thomas [John Alexander William] 1822-1896, "Faithful unto death." Furman Hall Top panel - Religion Dept, Bottom panel - Missing
In memory of Jas. P. Boyce LLD. Born Jan 1827. Died Dec 1888. “Non sibi sed toto genitum se credere mundo.” Top panel - Furman Hall; Bottom panel - Library Top - History Department; Bottom - Pitts Room
[B W Edwards] A Diligent student of the divine word and of human laws. Top panel - Plyler Hall Top - Patrick Auditorium; Bottom - missing
William Thayer, Born Oct 1821. Died Nov 1885, “Faithful unto death.” Top panel - Rinker Hall; Bottom panel - Library Top - second floor hallway; Bottom - Pitts Room
Col. Alex R.J. Lawton, One of the generous founders of the university and a life long supporter. Library Special Collections and Archives
Rev. John Stout, Born March 1842, Died June 1894, “Honored as trustee, beloved as pastor and friend.” Top panel - Nan Trammel Herring Music Pavilion; Bottom panel - Library Top - DuPre Rhame Foyer; bottom - Pitts Room
Shakespeare Top panel - Furman Hall; Bottom panel - Library Top - English Dept.; bottom - Pitts Room
Goethe Top panel - Library; Bottom panel - Furman Hall Top - Special Collections and Archives; Bottom - History Dept.
Fleur-de-lis Bottom panel - Library Pitts Room
Blue-themed non memorial panel Bottom panel - Hipp Hall Education Dept.

Historic Photographs