Furman University Receives $250,000 Grant From Bank of America Charitable Foundation

GREENVILLE, SC – February 15, 2008 – Furman University today announced a $250,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support environmental sustainability initiatives and stewardship through education.  The donation will strengthen the University’s role in promoting environmental stewardship through the Bank of America Fellows program, which will provide scholarship aid for students engaged in environmental projects on campus and in the Greenville community.

The Bank of America Fellows program presents a unique opportunity to leverage Furman’s leadership position in speaking to our region’s environmental consciousness, said Bank of America South Carolina President Kim Wilkerson.  We all play a role in protecting the environment and we are proud to support the University’s vision to educate their students, and ultimately the community, on how we can contribute to these efforts.

Beginning this fall, the university will bring one Bank of America Fellow to campus each year for the next four years.  Each Fellow will receive a
$25,000 scholarship over a four- year period.   Furman will recruit fellowship candidates from high schools across the country.  Candidates must have a proven record of achievement in the environmental arena, bringing a diverse background of environmentally related life experiences that will allow him or her to quickly join the variety of sustainability initiatives already taking place at the University.

Furman’s Bank of America Fellows will promote sustainable practices on campus, including the production of biodiesel fuel, development of the organic garden, and creation and maintenance of environmentally friendly living spaces.  In addition, they will encourage greater student participation in environmental initiatives, collaborate with faculty on ecological research projects, take classes focused on sustainability and serve as ambassadors for environmental action in the greater Greenville community.

This generous grant from Bank of America will bolster Furman’s award-winning environmental efforts by creating an exciting new scholarship program housed in the Cliffs Cottage, said Furman President David E. Shi.  We very much appreciate Bank of America’s commitment to Furman’s efforts to promote sustainability, conservation and environmental citizenship.

In addition to the fellowships, the grant will also go towards the completion of Cliffs Cottage, the new high performance Southern Living Showcase Home on campus that will be a model of green design, renewable energy, and sustainable products, processes and materials. 

The 3,000-square-foot Cliffs Cottage, which will be completed in June, will showcase energy efficiency, sustainable design principles and construction practices, and the use of natural materials and locally-produced products.  It will be among the first residential facilities in the nation to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

Located near the Bell Tower at Furman Lake, the Showcase Home will host public tours for one year and then will be converted into the university’s Center for Sustainability in 2009.  The surrounding grounds include a formal garden with native plants, an organic vegetable garden to be managed by students, and four residential eco-cottages housing 26 Furman students.

Furman University
Furman, a private, undergraduate liberal arts college with 2,600 students, is widely recognized for its rigorous academic program and strong faculty.
 The university has a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and ranks among the nation’s top colleges in the number of National Merit Scholars enrolled. 
www.furman.edu

Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is in its fourth year of achieving an unprecedented 10-year goal to donate $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods.  Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give more than $225 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions.  Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called neighborhood excellence under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities.  Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in
2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. 
For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.