Beyond Desegregation Furman University

On January 29, 1965, Joseph Vaughn enrolled at Furman, becoming the university's first African American undergraduate student. His courage created new opportunities for other students seeking an education during the Civil Rights Movement. But this historic moment didn't immediately integrate Furman's campus. The process of integrating African Americans into campus life occurred slowly, and in many ways, continues to this day.

When Vaughn graduated from Furman, there were no African American faculty or administrators.​ The school's athletic teams had not been integrated. And the addition of new African American students happened slowly but steadily. Over the next two decades, Furman relied on a number of students, faculty, and administrators to continue changing the university's culture.

Interactive Timeline

Get to know the students, faculty and administrators who were the first to integrate Furman's campus. View our timeline.

Our Community Today

Furman is committed to infusing its campus with meaningful diversity and equality​. Learn about our community​.


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Furman is one of the nation's premier liberal arts and sciences universities. We offer our students The Furman Advantage—an over-arching approach to education that promises every student a four-year personalized pathway, a team of advisors and mentors, and the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with the students' academic and professional goals.

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