Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, has announced a $1 million grant from the Marshall E. Rinker Sr. Foundation to provide increased financial support for student scholarships and fellowships.
The grant will create a "Presidential Partners" initiative that uses major gifts to help ensure student success through increased funding for engaged learning experiences. Half of the grant will be used to establish the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Presidential Scholarship, which will provide tuition assistance to students who have displayed leadership, service to others, and academic achievement, while the other half will create the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Presidential Fellowship in support of high-impact learning experiences for students, including study abroad, undergraduate research, and paid internships.
David Rinker, chair of the Rinker Foundation, and his wife, Leighan, are founding members of Furman's Partners Program, which was established in 1998 and connects deserving students with donors who have the opportunity to see the direct and immediate impact of their philanthropic support.
"Our foundation is making this grant because we have seen first-hand what Furman has to offer, which is an outstanding education in a safe and nurturing environment with unparalleled 'real life' experiences outside of the classroom," said Leighan Rinker, a member of the Furman board of trustees who has also served as board chair. "These experiences, along with mentoring and guidance, give Furman students a competitive edge and form the foundation for later success in life."