Background

Under the provisions of our trust documents, 45% of our annual distributions are designated to Furman University. The majority of our annual distribution to Furman provides financial aid to students from South Carolina, with a portion of that coming from the Hollingsworth Scholars program. Ancillary support goes to the Departments of Economics and Business and Accounting, as well as discretionary support for presidential initiatives.

The Hollingsworth Scholars program was created as a merit scholarship program designed to attract academically talented students from South Carolina to Furman University. Over the years, the program has evolved and now also includes a need-based financial grant offered to recipients of the Hollingsworth Scholarship who have demonstrated financial need greater than the amount of the scholarship. The need-based component to the Hollingsworth Scholarship program strengthens Furman’s ability to recruit and enroll talented students from South Carolina, regardless of their family financial situation, and ultimately strengthens its ability to enroll a more diverse student body.

Funding has also been used annually to support the programs and activities of the Department of Economics and the Department of Business and Accounting, a longstanding relationship established and nurtured by John Hollingsworth himself. These departments feature strong faculty representing diverse areas of study within their fields, low faculty-to-student ratios and innovative curricular and co-curricular activities. The Business and Accounting department’s multidisciplinary business core block exposes students to an MBA-like case study experience, with accounting, finance, marketing and operations taught together in a single four-hour block five days a week. The Department of Economics offers students opportunities often reserved for graduate students, such as summer research programs, best paper competitions and conference presentations.

Lastly, Furman’s President uses discretionary funding to nimbly respond to timely strategic opportunities and challenges while overseeing the Furman landscape. Most recently, the President has used Hollingsworth presidential discretionary funds to meet needs in various areas of the University, including new marketing, recruiting and financial aid strategies, and community engagement. Hollingsworth presidential initiative funds were instrumental in supporting key aspects of The Furman Advantage, Furman’s strategic vision guaranteeing every student an unparalleled education that combines classroom learning with real-world experiences and self-discovery.

Hollingsworth Funds’ Involvement

As major stakeholders in a creating a vibrant and successful Greenville County, Hollingsworth Funds and Furman University are constantly working together to identify ways we can more thoughtfully invest in the Greenville community. Our leadership meets on a regular basis to see where our philanthropic capital can be deployed for community benefit beyond just our financial capital. Community-facing centers and institutes, including the Riley Institute, the Shi Center for Sustainability and the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, are helping develop a framework for students, faculty and community partners to convene and collaborate to positively impact Greenville. Together, we have partnered on research projects related to the Network Southern Economic Mobility and the Greenville Homeless Alliance. In addition, the Riley Institute is an integral evaluation partner of OnTrack Greenville.