Furman University Receives $1 Million in support of Blues Shoes Scholarship

April 14, 2008

GREENVILLE, SC – April 14, 2008 – Chris Borch, chairman and CEO of Micro-Mechanics, and his wife, Andrea, have made a $1 million gift to Furman University in support of the school’s Blue Shoes Track Scholarship program.

Borch, a 1978 Furman graduate who lives in Saratoga, Calif., made the announcement at a Friday night fundraiser for the scholarship program, which supports all men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field athletes.  The gift raises the total of the Blue Shoes endowment to $2.8 million.

I received a track scholarship at the end of my first year at Furman, and it was that support that allowed me to complete four years at the university, said Borch, who was a distance runner at Furman.  It was one of my first big breaks in life.  The scholarship opened the door to a great education, and running provided me with invaluable lessons in every aspect of my life.  I’ve always been grateful for the support Furman gave me, and my wife and I have looked forward to the time we could give something back to the university.

Borch established the Blue Shoes Track Scholarship program in 2006, naming it for the blue ASICS ‘Onitsuka Tiger’ running shoes he and his teammates wore while attending Furman.

We are very grateful for everything Chris Borch has done for the university in the past few years, said Furman president David E. Shi.

His creation of the Blue Shoes scholarship fund has greatly benefited the cross country and track and field programs at Furman, and this most recent gift from he and Andrea will provide an even bigger benefit for the student-athletes who participate in the programs.

Tommie Smith, the 1968 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 meters, was the featured speaker at the Friday night fundraiser.  The Furman Track Invitational and Blue Shoes Mile took place Saturday at the Furman track.

At the spring 2007 Blue Shoes event, 1972 Olympic Gold medalist Dave Wottle was the featured speaker and miler Alan Webb became the first person to break the four-minute mark (3:57.83) for a mile run on a South Carolina track.  Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic Gold medalist in the marathon, spoke at another Blue Shoes fundraiser last fall.

Borch’s company, Micro-Mechanics, designs and manufactures a wide range of precision tools, parts and consumable products that are used to assemble and test semiconductors.  It serves more than 300 customers worldwide through five manufacturing facilities located in Singapore, Malaysia, China (Suzhou), Thailand and the Philippines, with sales offices in Switzerland, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and the USA, and a distributor in Japan.