Furman University alumni Gordon and Sarah Herring recently pledged a $6.1 million gift to the college’s music department. This donation establishes the Herring Music Chair Endowment and the Herring Music Fellowship Fund, which will be used to help attract gifted music students to the university.
“In recent years, rising costs of Furman, increased competition for musical talent with other quality collegiate music programs, and knowing the value and the importance of the cultural experience that a strong music department could offer to students and to the community, the Herrings have taken a bold and important step and investment in the Furman musical program,” said Bingham Vick Jr., Furman professor of music emeritus and former director of the Furman Singers. “I can attest to the importance and benefit Furman’s strong music program has had on the lives thousands of students. The Herring Fellowships now lead the way toward an even brighter future for the enrichment of the Furman experience.”
The Herrings were both members of the Furman Singers when they were students. After graduating from the university, Gordon Herring went onto become a telecommunications executive who helped launch The Weather Channel in 1982, while Sarah Herring served in senior management for telephone company operations firms based in Virginia and the Washington, D.C. area.
“Furman is exceptional for providing students with a rigorous liberal arts education,” Gordon Herring said. “We believe the other liberal arts are enhanced by music. Because we weren’t music majors, our experience with Furman Singers served to complete our liberal arts education.”
The Herrings previously donated $1.8 million, which led to the construction of the Herring Center for Lifelong Learning, and $1.25 million, which served as the lead investment for the Nan Trammell Herring Music Pavilion. Since the mid-1990s, they have also provided partner scholarships, which support multiple music students each year.