The Jim Smart Award is designed to promote faculty and staff’s encouragement of vocational exploration and reflection by Furman students, and to recognize those that exemplify this work in their teaching, advising, mentoring, service, public engagement, and/or other aspects of their roles at the University.

This award celebrates the memory of Jim Smart, a longtime history professor (1967-1995), who was known for his passion for teaching and learning, his dedication to student development, and the importance he placed on students’ exploration of values and purposeful living, especially in the context of Furman University as a liberal arts college that focuses on a holistic approach to education. The award is made possible by a gift from Jim's wife, Bonnie Smart, in memory of Jim and in honor of their two children, Rusty and Susan.

The award is given each year by the Cothran Center to a Furman University faculty or staff member who exemplifies a deep commitment to students and who encourages them to reflect seriously on their life's calling(s). Nomination forms should provide evidence that the nominee:

  1. helps students add depth and meaning to the life decisions they are making while in college (e.g., major, career, service to the community);
  2. encourage students' consideration of fundamental values in making life choices; and
  3. provides a hospitable space for students' personal, academic, and spiritual exploration.
While the committee welcomes the nomination of faculty and staff members whose normal responsibilities entail these kinds of discussion with students, the committee also encourages the nomination of faculty and staff whose encouragement of students' vocational exploration goes above and beyond their normal responsibilities.

Any member of the Furman University faculty, staff, student, or alumni community may nominate a current (at time of nomination) Furman faculty or staff member for this award.

Past winners include:

Judy Stuart (Education) -- 2015

Min-Ken Liao (Biology)  -- 2016

David Bost (Spanish)  -- 2017

Nominations are due October 1, 2018. Please submit a nomination here. 

If you have questions about the award or the nomination process, please contact or call at 864.294.3638.


Connect with Admission

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.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University