By: Kathleen Smith, Contributor
“Ooh, this is beautiful.” “You know, Furman got selected as one of the top 10 most beautiful colleges in the world!”
These are a few of the many comments I have received on pictures of our beautiful campus throughout my time as a Furman student.
Our campus is truly exceptional, and I look forward to every chance to show it off when family and friends come to visit. However, some may say that all of the superficial attention Furman has been getting from publications such as Travel & Leisure and Forbes detracts from the rest of the wonderful opportunities and experiences Furman has to offer. I do not believe this to be the case. Our campus is nothing but an asset and a tool we use to our advantage in the admissions process.
It is certainly true that Furman has a lot more to offer than a pretty lake and a nice garden. Our Mock Trial program is currently ranked seventh in the nation. Both our men’s and women’s teams are preseason favorites to win the Southern Conference title in cross-country this year. In the same week that Furman was ranked in Huffington Post as one of the nation’s prettiest college campuses, the Princeton Review ranked Furman as seventh in the country for “Schools Making an Impact” in areas such as sustainability, student government, and community service. We offer two study abroad experiences that guarantee internships catered to student’s interests. We are also able to fund student internships over the summer.
However, when searching for a college or university to attend, a big consideration for many high school seniors is, in fact, the environment the campus creates. It is a common trend to break this distinction down between an “urban” campus and a “rural” campus, but in reality, This goes a lot further than just location. Students need to find a place they can call home.
As a Furman Future last year, I would ask families and prospective students what their favorite part of their campus tour was. More often than not, the answer was the “vibe” on campus. They would say that the campus made them feel comfortable and safe. I had a girl tell me that she already felt like she was living here even though it was the first time she ever visited our campus.
In order to make prospective students interested in all of the other opportunities Furman offers, we need our campus to be a place where freshmen can see themselves being happy for the next four years. We could have the best programs and facilities in the world, but without a livable campus, nobody would take advantage of those opportunities. Our beautiful campus is what makes Furman truly start to feel like home and is an asset. It should not be something that overshadows the amazing education and opportunities offered here.
Photo Credit: Creative Commons