Thursday: Homecoming Horseplay Skits

6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 23, McAlister Auditorium. FUSAB and SAC present.

“Everything comes from love”

Lillian Brock Flemming, a 1971 graduate of Furman University and one of the early African-American students at the school, was the speaker at the L.D. Johnson lecture on “What Really Matters?”

Flemming’s talk was part of Furman’s year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of the university. Joseph Vaughn, a Greenville resident, was the first black student to attend Furman. Flemming was one of the first female African-American students on campus and was awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities earlier this year by Furman.

The events commemorating Furman’s desegregation tell the story of the university’s desegregation journey, said Maria Swearengen, assistant university chaplain. Introducing Flemming as an educator, activist and Greenville City Council member, Swearengen said that integration “is far from complete.”

Vaughn Crowetipton, associate vice president for spiritual life, said the lecture series honors L.D. Johnson, Furman chaplain from 1967 to 1981. Johnson helped the university grapple with many important issues, he said.

Flemming’s answer to “What Really Matters?” is love.

“Sometimes we go through life and never look to the left or the right,” she said. “What really matters is different for every person. I think I learned most of what really mattered from my mom and daddy.”

Citing First Corinthians 13, she said, “Everything comes from love.” She advised those in the audience to be their brothers’ keeper, even when some of those brothers present challenges.

People need to worry most about their ability to love, she said, because “it’s real clear that everything we have centers around love. What’s important in your life is not how long you live; it’s the dash” between your birth and death.

One result of love is a positive attitude, she said. “You don’t waste a day by being negative. What my dad said to me was ‘Don’t let other people make you a trash can.’  Love helps you be positive. It helps you treat other people better than some of them deserve to be treated.”

Being positive makes hope and happiness possible, she said.

“If you have no hope, you do perish,” she said. “If you have no hope, you have no future.”

She admitted that as a pioneer desegregating Furman, she and the other students faced challenges. But the answer to that is to talk and get to know others. She said that while on campus, a Ku Klux Klan official came to speak on campus. The African-American students decided to attend. But they didn’t have to say anything because white students on the front row “decimated” the man. They were not hearing his hateful speech.

She told students in the audience that they often spend too much time on electronic gadgets and don’t really talk to others.  Young people need to get to know each other, to know their middle names and what their favorite colors are.

Mentioning the media’s treatment of Richard Jewell, a security guard who was suggested as being involved in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta  and was later exonerated, she said he was accused without facts.

“That’s what our society has done because we don’t talk to each other,” she said. “We don’t get the facts. We don’t trust one another because we don’t talk. “

When we talk to others who are different from us, “we find out we have more in common than we don’t have in common. We find out we want the same things,” she said.

When asked how she remains positive on bad days, Flemming said, “I pray.”

She also said that diversity can be improved by giving information to everyone. People need to go into communities different from their own and create relationships and partnerships.  While at Furman, she talked with other black students and got to know them. But they also worked to get people who were not black to know that all black people are not alike. They enjoy different types of music; they have different beliefs; they look and dress differently.

Racism is still alive and well, she said, and some attitudes and actions have not changed much from the 1960s. But “What people think of you does not have to be true. It’s what you think about yourself.”

The major way of combating prejudice and discrimination is to “continue to talk. Don’t let stereotypes make you form judgments until you know somebody.” She also encouraged parents to model tolerance for their children and talk with them about how they would feel if intolerance were directed toward them.

“Most people don’t want to hurt others. Most people do care,” she said, adding they often say what the crowd is saying without thinking about it could affect others.

Note to FROGs from Coach Roberts


After a one-year hiatus, the alumni game is back on! As usual, the game will kick-off at 10 a.m. so I suggest you get to the pitch around 9 or so to warm up and get the old bones going. The team looks good this year, but I expect you can hang with them for awhile.

There are a few things you need to know about Saturday.

1) We will give you all jerseys and shorts to wear. Just find Turner, our captain, and he can set you up.

2) There are parking restrictions on Saturday. You will not be able to enter through the Timmons gate unless you have a pass. Simply enter through the front gate, park by the Chapel and walk up.

3) Because there was not a huge interest in the Friday night event, I am going to put it on hold this year.

4) Regretfully I will not be at the game. I am enrolled in a M.A. class and must be out of town this weekend for class. It is just a one-year deal, it won’t be an interference for future games.

5) Lastly, I know some of you make contributions at that the game. If you have a check, get it to Lawson Held, our president. We’ll get it deposited.


History After Dark at UHM-FU

7 p.m., Wed., Oct. 29, UHM-FU hosts R. Young of Borderlands Comics in Part II of “Comics: From Childhood Treasures to Modern Marvels.” $2.50-$5.

Richard Furman and James C. Furman digital collection now available

Furman special collectionFurman University Special Collections & Archives has launched its Richard Furman and James C. Furman digital collection. The collection features more than 700 letters and sermons from Richard Furman (the University’s namesake) and James C. Furman (the University’s first president). The collection may be viewed at this link.

Richard Furman (1755-1825)

The collection contains 163 letters and 9 sermons from Richard Furman (1755-1825), a clergyman considered the most important Baptist leader before the Civil War. Furman was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Charleston, S.C., and became the first president of the Triennial Convention, the first national body of Baptists in America. Under Furman’s urging, education was endorsed as a formal element of the denomination’s program, eventually resulting in the founding of Columbian College (modern-day George Washington University) in 1821. Furman was also elected the first president of the South Carolina Baptist Convention in 1821. Furman University, the South’s first Baptist college, was posthumously named in his honor. The principal correspondents included in this digital collection include Oliver Hart, Charles Screven, Edmund Botsford, and Joseph B. Cook.

James Clement Furman (1809-1891)

The collection also contains 602 letters and 9 sermons from James Clement Furman (1809-1891). A son of Richard Furman, James C. Furman first joined the Furman faculty in 1845 and later became its first president in 1859, serving until 1879. Furman was instrumental in the institution’s move to Greenville in 1851. A leading voice among secessionists, Furman was a signer of the Ordinance of Secession in 1860. The university closed during the Civil War but reopened due to the perseverance of its president who would not abandon it. The letters in this digital collection reflect many of Furman University’s early struggles and triumphs.

For more information about the collection, please email, or contact Christy Allen, Assistant Director for Discovery Services, Furman University Libraries, at (864) 294-2258.

Friday: Men’s Soccer: vs. East Tennessee State

7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24, Stone Soccer Stadium. $2-$4.