By: Renee Neves
Over the course of getting to know Furman University throughout your college search process, you will most likely hear a lot about its intimate size. With only 2800 students and a little over 1,000 faculty and staff members, walking around campus will soon turn into a blend of familiar faces. Thinking back to when I was a prospective student, I frequently remember hearing specific stories from students about a unique way that a faculty or staff member on campus had influenced their time here. When I eventually made my decision to attend Furman, I remember anxiously wondering to myself – am I going to make those same connections everyone talks about? And how do I ensure that these relationships even form from the start?
Now, four years later and a prestigious diploma in hand, I find myself in the same position as many of those former Furman students who I heard from prior. As I reflect on my undergraduate career, I realize that I too have accrued these unique stories about the faculty and staff members here, as the true magic of Furman really lies within this community of individuals. My favorite one involves chalk, the mailroom, and my favorite postman.
Part of being a college student means needing access to certain resources and facilities while being away from home. One of these include an accessible post office. Here at Furman, we call our post office the “P2X”, where students can easily send and receive mail right from the heart of the Trone Student Center. As a first-year student, I would often head over there and over time, I got very friendly with the postman, a now dear friend, Russ.
One day, I received an Amazon shipment that I hadn’t ordered for myself. After checking with lots of friends and family, I still couldn’t figure out who had sent me this shipment of bubbles and chalk! A few days later, I found myself in the P2X once again, only this time, Russ was chuckling. I had found the culprit! He shared with me that he sometimes sent students packages when he felt they needed a pick-me-up. That same night, a friend and I used the gifted chalk to write Russ a big thank you message outside of Trone. Russ was so touched by this. In all honesty, I couldn’t imagine anyone being more touched than I was by his actions.
We always like to say that the Furman Advantage takes on a different meaning for each of its students. For me, this unique story is what I consider to be MY Furman Advantage. It is these many individuals on campus who have touched my life in ways that I will treasure forever. It’s Russ Kagan in the post office who sends you a package. It’s Kim Keefer who delivers me food on my birthday. It’s Rolyn Rollins who lends me a shoulder to cry on. It’s Nancy Cooper who lent me her office couch when I was sick. It’s Dr. Lourdes Manyé who emailed me consistently when I was homesick on my study away. The stories are endless. These are the faces on Furman’s campus that over time, you will have the opportunity to know and love just the same as I have. These are the faces that make up Furman!