Kirk Fisher ’90 featured in Greenville News for Motorcycle Law Niche

Kirk Fisher dons his volunteer firefighter suit

Kirk Fisher dons his volunteer firefighter suit – Photo Mykal McEldowney

Kirk Fisher ’90 owns Iron Horse Motorcycle Lawyers in a converted garage in downtown Greenville. On August 2, the Greenville News profiled the lawyer and volunteer fireman to find out what gave him the idea for this unique kind of practice.

Read the story in the Greenville News

Furman senior explores gentrification and compassionate housing

Hayden Couvillion, croppedFewer families in Greenville are making less money. Every income bracket less than $50,000 decreased from 1999 to 2013. Sounds good, right? Not so fast. Poring over Census data and a report by Harvard professors, Furman senior sustainability science/political science major Hayden Couvillion says households really haven’t increased their income levels, but have simply moved out because living in Greenville has become unaffordable. Read more in the article he penned for Greenville Online.

Saccenti quoted in USA Today article

usa-today-saccentiFor years, an increasing number of university police departments have been arming their officers to deal with potential threats on campus. The numbers continue to grow, campus law enforcement officials say, even after the deadly shooting at the University of Cincinnati. Tom Saccenti, Furman’s chief of police, was quoted in a USA Today article about how campus police departments are preparing for their officers to deal with a variety of situations. “Campus police are light years ahead of where we used to be,” he said.

Furman Singers Reunion, no ordinary gathering

Furman Singers, soloistWhen the Furman Singers convene for their 19th Biennial Reunion, Singers director Hugh Floyd says, “The singing is amazing, the fellowship is genuine and full of fun, and we all go away with a great booster-shot of joy and satisfaction when we depart on Sunday afternoon.” An event that spans multiple generations and draws alumni from around the globe, the reunion features a culminating concert 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 9, at First Baptist Church in Greenville. With more than 200 voices filling the sanctuary with favorites like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the concert promises to be remarkable. Paul Hyde offers more details about the Singers’ tradition in the Greenville News.

C. Brooke Ring casts wide net on Etsy

"Southern Spring" by C. Brooke Ring

“Southern Spring” by C. Brooke Ring

Chelsea Brooke Ring, a 2012 Furman graduate and graphic designer at Shannon Forest Christian School in Greenville, S.C., says, “Social media has changed everything for artists. [We] have all these avenues for selling and connecting with customers online …” The art major says she can reach a wider audience through online channels like Etsy than she could by relying soley on exposure in galleries. Known for her whimsical, airy beach scenes and other abstract works, Ring also plays with the edgier side of art. Read more about her style in Cindy Landrum’s piece in the Greenville Journal.

Duke Energy turns to Riley Institute

riley-institute-dick-rileyWhen company officials and employees at corporate giant Duke Energy sought a meaningful response to the tragic June 17 shootings at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, they directed their attention to the Riley Institute at Furman. Two institute programs, the Diversity Leaders Initiative and the Emerging Public Leaders, will be expanded due to new support from Duke Energy and its employees. Duke Energy has donated $100,000 to support the expansion, and the employees have pledged to match the company grant. The new partnership was featured in Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

2006 Furman graduate Dickson receives M.D.-Ph.D. from Harvard

John Dickson, sizedAnyone who develops a shortcut for calculus should be awarded a Nobel Prize. But Furman biology and chemistry double major John Dickson will have to settle for an M.D.-Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. The 2006 Furman graduate from Gaffney, S.C. received a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 2013 from the Ivy League institution, and then received his M.D. in May 2015. Dickson is a medical intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. Following his internship, he will do his neurology residency jointly at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, which are Harvard affiliated hospitals. Read more about what inspired his path in Spartanburg Herald-Journal’s story.

Onward and upward for Yik Yak

yik-yak-newest-smallYik Yak started with colleges, but CEO Tyler Droll has his sights set on creating a product every bit as compelling as Facebook. The anonymous messaging app, created by Furman graduates Droll and Brooks Buffington in 2013, is now used by millions of students on more than 1,600 college campuses from Ireland to New Zealand. Yik Yak has raised more than $73 million to date, valuing the startup in the “low hundreds of millions of dollars,” which it is pouring into expansion. The company’s 45 employees just moved into a huge new office in Atlanta, where Droll and the crew are still in the process of getting settled. The two Furman alums were featured in a recent Mashable article.

Bridges to a Brighter Future honors community partners & former director

Harvey Choplin, center, receives Individual Bridge Builder award

Harvey Choplin, center, receives Individual Bridge Builders award

During the four-week summer residential curriculum for 78 Furman Bridges to a Brighter Future students, five companies and individuals were presented awards for their support of the educational outreach program. The awards were presented during the Bridge Builders Luncheon held July 9 in the Hartness Pavilion on the Furman campus.

Bridges to a Brighter Future is a program whose mission is to give students the tools and support they need to overcome barriers, graduate from high school and enroll in college. Since the program launched in 1997, more than 460 students have participated in Bridges.

The honorees are:

Fluor – Corporate Bridge Builders Award. Fluor has provided grant funding to enhance the Bridges summer science program, and recently hosted the newest Bridges class in a day of speakers, interactive activities and an overview of the global organization.

Jacobs Engineering – Business Bridge Builders Award. Jacobs Engineering provided tutoring for students during Saturday College at Furman, and the company has agreed to allow Bridges students to shadow employees to gain exposure to a variety of engineering careers.

Harvey Choplin – Individual Bridge Builders Award. Choplin was awarded the Individual Bridge Builders award for the multiple roles he has held with Bridges, from mentor and friend to academic coordinator and tutor.

Rob Rhodes – Individual Bridge Builders Award. This award was also given to Rhodes for his service as Advisory Council member, and for acting as a liaison between Bridges and his place of employment, Greenville County School District.

Marjon Ford – Appreciation for All of the Bridges You’ve Built. The award went to Ford for her five years of service in the Bridges program and her teaching, mentorship, leadership, guidance, support and vast knowledge of education, which prepared students for college.

At a separate closing banquet, an award was also presented to the previous director of Bridges to a Brighter Future, Tobi Swartz Kinsell, who led the program more than 10 years, February 2004-December 2014. She now directs OnTrack for United Way Greenville, a program designed to ensure all middle school youth stay on track toward high school graduation. An annual Bridges to a Brighter Future scholarship will also be established in Kinsell’s name.

Learn more about Bridges to a Brighter Future at, or contact program director Pam Davis at (864) 294-3135, or