South Housing and Lakeside Villages
The Critical First Year
Furman has a reputation for combining challenging academics with practical applications in research, internships, service, and foreign study to prepare students for lives of deep meaning, leadership, and service. This distinctive melding of mind and heart is forged in the crucible of a residential campus that houses all of its undergraduate students in a living and learning environment that has historically supported strong peer relationships and brought students into close contact with faculty and other mentors on a daily basis.
Today, Furman seeks to advance this enduring legacy in new and exciting ways. Focusing first on the freshman residential experience, the university will embark on an imaginative plan to re-shape the opportunities of the critical first year of college, where bold action has the greatest potential to strengthen student success, and where vision and purpose will clearly differentiate Furman as a leader among the nation's top liberal arts universities.
The RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE
Focusing initially on the South Campus (formerly men's) residence halls, Furman will initiate a multi-dimensional approach to reshaping the residential experience, more fully integrating it with the academic lives of the students. At least one new residence hall will be added, and existing halls will be renovated to modernize the facilities while also creating more active and intentional centers of student learning. Architecture and landscaping will shape the outdoor space, creating gathering points for quiet contemplation and group interaction.
South Campus will thus become the first residential village for first and second year students, borrowing from the classic Oxford model while advancing the concept for Furman's distinctive mission. Classroom and advising space will be incorporated into the complex, more closely integrating the academic and residential lives of students. Faculty Fellows and their families will be invited to live in the residential village as faculty masters, to strengthen the intellectual and social bonds among students and their mentors.
Once the South Housing Village is completed, we will then initiate a similar renovation to the Lakeside area, to create a second residential model, ensuring that all of the traditional residence halls become dinstinctive living-learning comunities.
The Case for Support
The development of the Residential Villages model presents a significant competitive advantage and unique selling point to Furman.
-None of the university's closest peers offers an intentionally integrated living-learning experience for its students.
-The promise of accelerating first and second-year college students' acclimation to the expectations and opportunities of college life is one that has been shown to strengthen student success and retention among institutions that already are incorporating similar models.
-Cohesion among each class will be enhanced, strengthening class loyalty and, ultimately, alumni support for the university.