The Daniel Bequest
On June 22, 1992, Homozel Mickel Daniel, a longtime generous friend of Furman, died at age 89. She was the widow of Charles E. Daniel, a noted builder and business leader whose company, Daniel International Corporation, became the largest construction firm in the Southeast and built most of the buildings on the Furman campus.
Soon after Mrs. Daniel's death, Furman officials learned that she had left the university an estimated $21.4 million -- the largest gift in Furman history at that time. Previously, the largest gift was $4.35 million from the Daniel Foundation to construct the Homozel Mickel Daniel Music Building.
The gift to Furman represented approximately 40 percent of the estimated $55 million that Mrs. Daniel left to 14 institutions of higher learning, 12 of them in South Carolina. Mrs. Daniel's gift included the Daniel estate, White Oaks, and an endowment of $1.5 million to support the estate.
The university also received $5.5 million to construct and endow the Charles E. Daniel Memorial Chapel. In addition, recognizing that the quality of a faculty is the key element in building an outstanding college, she left $1.5 million to endow faculty chairs in chemistry and music.
Her bequest included $300,000 for a scholarship fund in memory of Alester G. Furman, Jr., and $10,000 to provide appropriate furniture to display her prized collection of china "Doughty Birds." Furman also received one-third of the residual of the estate, which was estimated at $10 million, most of which has gone to increase the university's endowment.
Mrs. Daniel was a close friend of the Plylers, Blackwells, and Johns and took great delight in helping not only Furman but other educational and artistic causes. She understood the importance of a college education, and she gave generously to thousands of young men and women. She also clearly understood the need to strengthen and preserve the area's private colleges and the value of an educated leadership to the state and region.