Dottie Pepper, the former Furman and LPGA star, makes it clear. It was the writers who used the word “retirement” with regard to her broadcasting career. She never did. So after an eight-year run with NBC that ended in December and a brief hiatus, Pepper is back behind the microphone. She’s making her debut with ESPN this week on the cable network’s coverage of the U.S. Open, which begins Thursday at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. The Greenville News checked in with Pepper, a 1987 Furman graduate and three-time All-American in college who won 17 titles and two majors on the LPGA tour.
FU in the News
Dana Thorpe became the new executive director of the Upcountry History Museum-Furman in April. Her vision for the museum includes exploring new subjects, making connections between local history and the broader scope of American history, and reaching out to partner with other organizations. She also said the museum’s relatively new partnership with Furman offers lots of potential. The Greenville News reported on Thorpe’s vision for the future of the museum.
Dedication is an attribute Juan Johnson discovered early in life. He fostered it in himself throughout his impressive corporate career and community work. And now he’s bringing that dedication and determination to the most influential leaders across South Carolina. Though he resides in Atlanta, Johnson spends much of his time in Greenville, where he is a Senior Fellow in Furman’s Riley Institute and facilitator of the program’s Diversity Leaders Initiatives. Johnson, who also serves on the Furman Board of Trustees, was featured in Greenville Business Magazine.
Sarah Adams, who will enroll at Furman this fall as a freshman, has been named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a prestigious award given to just 20 student artists across the country. One of three voice students and the only classical female singer among this year’s honorees, Adams will travel to Washington, D.C., to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and accept her award.
The Greer resident is a graduate of Eastside High School.
Major Nicole Kuhne Bell of the U.S. Army has been in Afghanistan for the past seven months, but her deployment ended Friday and it was a grand surprise for her son, 3-year-old Hayden. Bell, who graduated from Furman in 2003 with a degree in political science, completed her third tour of duty overseas. She joined the Army as a member of Furman’s ROTC program in 2000, and met her husband, Steven, during her first tour in Iraq. The Greenville News wrote about Bell’s return home.
Many organizations serve those who have limited resources, people often called the have-nots. But communities also need services—ministries—for the haves. These types of programs are rare but are equally necessary to a community’s strength, economic health, and quality of life. Furman philosophy professor David Gandolfo, along with co-author Beth Templeton, explains why in an op-ed for The Greenville News.
U.S. soccer star Clint Dempsey never has been afraid to test the limits of his talents or Texas-sized ambitions. The former Furman soccer star wasn’t satisfied with winning MLS Rookie-of-the-Year honors or reaching the English Premier League. It’s that attitude and approach, along with the ability to deliver big goals, that helped persuade U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann to give Dempsey the captain’s arm band for the past two World Cup qualifiers. The Cleveland Plain Dealer profiled Dempsey on the eve of the U.S. national team’s international exhibition against Belgium.
Fifteen months after a major scandal, the former S.C. Hospitality Association has distanced itself from the fallout by changing its name, bringing in the former head of the state’s top tourist agency to rebuild it and putting safeguards in place to prevent a recurrence. The new president and CEO of the newly formed S.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association is 67-year-old John Durst, a Furman graduate who formerly served as head of the state Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism.
Durst graduated from Furman in 1967 with a degree in political science.
Johnnie Mac Walters, who graduated from Furman in 1942, remembers being pressured more than 40 years ago to do what he considered unthinkable. In the early 1970s, when embattled President Richard Nixon sought to use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon to investigate his enemies, the administration turned to Walters, head of the tax agency, to do the dirty work. Walters, now 93, said he refused. The Greenville News recalled Walters’ story in a feature article, which was also published in USA Today.
Furman graduate and violinist Seth Gilliard, who goes by the stage name Seth G, wows crowds in Charleston, S.C., with hip-hop-inspired original songs and adaptations of pop hits like Ellie Goulding’s “Lights,” Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You,” and Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You.” But he’s also a classical music buff—he was concertmaster for the Furman Symphony Orchestra while studying music at the university—and he’s got serious chops. For his upcoming Piccolo Spoleto concert, Gilliard will show off the full scope of his talent.