Hosting the Largest TEDxUniversity Event, TEDxFurmanU

This past Saturday, Furman University hosted it’s 6th annual TEDxFurmanU conference, the longest running and largest TEDxUniversity conference in the southeast, and one of the largest nationwide. The conference (completely organized by students) brought twelve speakers from Furman’s campus and two across the globe to our very own Younts Conference Center to spread their ideas worth sharing.

Alexis Myers (’18) speaks on America’s embracement of racial ambiguity at TEDxFurmanU 2018.

The organizing team, comprised of twenty Furman students, begins their work in August fielding over seventy interested speakers who want to come to Furman University in mid-February for it’s prestigious conference. The team typically picks twelve speakers, four students, three professors, and five outside speakers.

This year, students Sam Fowler (’19), Quincy Mix (’19), Alexis Myers (’18), and Noelle Warner (’19) were the four student speakers. They told their personal experiences of racial ambiguity, family effects of alcoholism, and why “just be yourself” probably isn’t the best life motto.

Over 400 attendees light their phones during Sam Fowler (’19)’s talk about addiction and it’s ability to thrive in the darkness.

Three Furman University professors spread their own ideas, with Dr. David Moffett (Physics), Dr. Judy Stuart (Education), and Dr. J. Aaron Simmons (Philosophy) speaking on topics from the 2017 Solar Eclipse to four-letter words to the failure of success respectively.

Finally, five outside speakers made their way to Furman University, including John Lanier (President of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation in Atlanta), Adnan Sultan (staff attorney at the Innocence Project in New York City), Dr. Shane Purcell (primary care physician from Anderson, South Carolina), Matthew Morris (a United Kingdom Trade Ambassador to the Southeastern United States), and Jennifer Thompson (the New York Time’s Bestselling Author of “Picking Cotton”).

Matthew Morris speaks on the future of tech automation at TEDxFurmanU 2018.

TEDxFurmanU began six years ago with a handful of speakers and a few dozen attendees. Now, it’s the largest TEDxUniversity event in the southeast, selling out with over 400 attendees. TEDxFurmanU has become one of the most anticipated, talked about events on Furman’s campus and within the greater community, with organizers from several other TEDx events across the region in attendance as well.

Every year, a small group of twenty students come together and work for six months to make a fantastic event happen for Furman’s campus, highlighting twelve new “ideas worth spreading” every single year.

The TEDxFurmanU Organizing Team joins their cast of speakers, and emcee Russell Kagan, for a photo as the historic event comes to a close.

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