In high school, most current Furman students experienced the picture-perfect Admissions tour around campus. From the Furman mall to the beautiful rose garden and the picturesque lake, campus tours dazzle and help many students fall for Furman. As soon as they stepped foot on campus, many current students immediately felt as if they fit in with the culture here at Furman. But what about those students who don’t feel comfortable so easily at Furman? How does Furman address students who feel that their identities do not fit in perfectly with Furman’s campus culture? The answer is simple: Furman Mosaic.
Mosaic is a student organization that works with the Office of Admission to bring diverse students to campus through overnight visits and other admissions events. This group is one half of the admissions team, the other being the Admission Ambassadors, whose biggest task is giving prospective students tours around campus. Combined, the two groups target a broad scope of potential students that are interested in enrolling at Furman.
To gauge the true impact of Mosaic, I asked Allyson Brown, Associate Dean of Admissions and Director of Diversity and Inclusion Recruitment, to discuss how Mosaic has changed Furman. Brown explained that “Mosaic was created in 2011, and it was started with the intention of supplementing the ambassador team, which was at the time very homogeneous in terms of racial makeup.” Furman is a predominantly white institution being that 80% of the undergraduate population is made up of white students. To attract a broader array of students to Furman, Mosaic boasts a diverse team of individuals who can cater to the needs of incoming students who may feel isolated in the admissions process.
Since 2011, the Mosaic team has grown from 7 to 42 members, allowing them to reach out to a larger number of diverse prospective high school students. Brown said, “The growth of mosaic has created a growth of campus culture among students of color at Furman. The connections incoming students make creates a sense of belonging and helps make the diverse campus culture stronger.” Mosaic team members make connections with prospective high school students by hosting overnight events in which students get to truly see Furman in a comprehensive way. These overnight hosting events are the bread and butter of Mosaic and provide students with more than the traditional visit to Furman's campus. Diverse prospective students are able to get a deep dive into what students like them at Furman experience.
Today, Furman’s Mosaic Team has a tight-knit culture and continues to drive progress forward at Furman. The work done by Allyson Brown and the Mosaic team members has proven to help bring together the multicultural community here at Furman. The growth of this community will pay dividends to the diversity of incoming students by bolstering the inclusivity of Furman’s campus and calling for a new campus culture. Their mission is essential for Furman to reach new heights and grow as a community.