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Furman alumni donate $6.1 million to music department

Staff Report //November 2, 2020//

Furman alumni donate $6.1 million to music department

Staff Report //November 2, 2020//

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Furman University alumni Gordon Herring and Sarah Herring, respectively from classes of 1965 and 1966, have pledged $6.1 million to the Furman music department to finance the Herring Music Chair Endowment and the Herring Music Fellowship Fund.

“We hope our gift will attract exceptional students who can be magnets to draw other talented musicians to Furman’s music programs,” Sarah Herring said in a news release.

Both Sarah Herring, a German major, and Gordon Herring, a history major, took part in the school’s music program through the Furman Singers group when they were students.

“Furman is exceptional for providing students with a rigorous liberal arts education,” Gordon Herring said in the release. “We believe the other liberal arts are enhanced by music. Because we weren’t music majors, our experience with Furman Singers served to complete our liberal arts education.”

He is a telecommunications executive and emeritus trustee who helped launch The Weather Channel in 1982, while she works in senior management for telephone company operations. Over the years, the Herrings have donated $1.8 million toward the construction of the Herring Center for Lifelong Learning and $1.25 million used as the lead investment for the Nan Trammell Herring Music Pavilion. Partner scholarships, extended by the couple, help support several music students each year.

“In recent years, rising costs of Furman, increased competition for musical talent with other quality collegiate music programs, and knowing the value and the importance of the cultural experience that a strong music department could offer to students and to the community, the Herrings have taken a bold and important step and investment in the Furman musical program,” Bingham Vick Jr., professor of music emeritus and former director of the Furman Singers, said in the release. “I can attest to the importance and benefit Furman’s strong music program has had on the lives thousands of students. The Herring Fellowships now lead the way toward an even brighter future for the enrichment of the Furman experience.”

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