On a stroll from the Library to the Dining Hall, returning students may have noticed a new structure extending from the walkway. These 10 pillars, titled “Benefactors Green,” comprise a multi-year project by the Office of Development’s Donor Relations team to recognize significant donors throughout Furman’s history.

As one approaches a pillar, a series of names come into view, some of whom were members of Furman classes as early as 1911. The tribute is reserved for people who have made a donation of at least $1 million to the university.

“The Benefactors Green is really our physical recognition of those largest donors so that we can thank them in a public way,” says Heidi McCrory, Vice President for Development. “As a private university, we rely on philanthropy from generous donors to make Furman the special place that it is.”

In devising Benefactors Green, McCrory says her team considered several factors, notably location and longevity. In 2001, Benefactors Circle was erected as a similar tribute near Cherrydale Alumni House, but concerns about distance and room to include new donors sparked the need for a complementary tribute. “We wanted it to be a little more noticeable … ’cause it’s really out of the way up there by Cherrydale,” says McCrory. 

Metal roses complement names of donors whose gifts exceed $1 million.

The new tribute combats the issue of limited space for donors through the metal roses that adorn each name. Million-dollar donors begin with a circle next to their names, and as their donation grows, petals and leaves are added to this circle. This rose system replaces the less efficient operation of moving names to new areas of the tribute when a donor increases their gift.

When asked what she hopes students will get out of viewing the tribute, McCrory said, “I hope that they will take a look and be inspired that there are people in this world who believe so much in Furman that they are willing to invest in it to a very significant degree. And that should make all of us feel good, right? It just, it reinforces what a special place Furman is.”

In the future, McCrory’s team hopes to append a seating area and additional hardscaping to the tribute to offer students a new setting in which to work and spend time with others.