The gift will help expand the counseling center, launch an integrative approach to mental health and wellbeing, and create the Hillel Endowment Fund.
Congressman David Trone ’77 has given $10 million to Furman University, with $8.5 million dedicated to student mental health services and $1.5 million to support Furman’s Hillel, the Jewish Student Association. The gift makes Trone, a 1977 Furman graduate and a member of the Board of Trustees, one of the university’s largest living donors.
“As a proud alumnus of Furman University, I am honored by the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way on an issue of great personal importance,” said Trone, a Democratic U.S. representative from Maryland who also is founder and co-owner of the retail chain Total Wine and More.
The $8.5 million for mental health will transform services, enabling the university to reach more students in need of care earlier, and with new approaches, making Furman a model for mental and emotional health care – what Trone calls “mental health fitness” – in higher education.
The gift gets to the heart of The Furman Advantage and its emphasis on helping students create lives of purpose and impact, said Furman University President Elizabeth Davis.
“The Furman Advantage helps students become resilient and adaptable to change in the face of adversity. Mental fitness is vital to developing these skills, ensuring our students are able to succeed academically, socially and emotionally,” Furman University President Elizabeth Davis says. “David and June’s generous donation clearly will make a significant difference in our students’ lives and in our campus community, now and for generations to come.”
“David and June have once again identified a tremendous need among our students,” Davis said. “We are grateful for their generous spirit and we applaud their leadership and their willingness to make a difference.”