Stained glass window
Post World War II and the Move to the New Campus
Created by Martha Beckett, Liz Meeker, Kaylan Pedin, Matt Sides, and Ben Thornton for History 21: Issues in American History, 2004-2005.

The fact that Furman University moved to a new campus within a decade of World War II is not a coincidence. Many historical factors led Furmanís leaders to seek a new site for the school. These factors also led to the physical merger between Furman and the Greenville Womenís College.

During the war, many changes took place on Furmanís campus. The Army Air Corps taught flight school at the menís campus, while most of the academics took place at the Greenville Womenís College. Many Furman teachers lost their lives in the war, along with Furman students. When the veterans returned to campus, a more serious attitude about life accompanied them. For example, hazing practices became less frequent between the upperclassmen and the freshmen. Many veterans began taking their studies very seriously and stopped playing sports such as football. Furman did not want to compromise its academic standards or level of degrees, although it was being spread thin by the increased number of students. Therefore, new faculty was hired, costing Furman a lot of money.

Furman needed more space for the growing student population. As a result, trailers and temporary housing cluttered the campus. Nearby schools such as Wake Forest, University of South Carolina, and Colby College had recently moved to new campuses. Furman leaders felt relocation would add excitement to the project of expansion and make raising funds easier for the school. And besides, dealing with the old buildings would have been expensive and time consuming. So, after the Vice Chairman of the Furman Board of Trustees, Dean Crain, suggested the idea, support soon followed. What would downtown Greenville look like today if the menís campus still occupied where County Square now stands or the womenís campus still sat on Heritage Green? Thanks to the post World War II era, Furman has plenty of space to learn and grow in its current location.