Building upon Richard Furman’s legacy…George has big shoes to fill!

I spent the day at The Duke Endowment and found this statue of Mr. Richard Furman, the name sake of Furman University. Sarah’s great-great grandfather was named in his honor, Richard Furman Landrum. We named our son George Landrum Rettew to honor the Landrum name, her grandmother’s maiden name. Sarah’s grandmother was a Landrum, attended Furman University in the 1930’s, and spent years documenting the history of the Landrum’s including the family relationship with the Furman family.

The Furman family were friends of Rev. John. G. Landrum, Sarah’s great-great-great grandfather, who was a trustee of Furman from 1852 to 1873. In 1854, under the leadership of Richard Furman’s son James Clement Furman and while Rev. John G. Landrum served as a trustee, the Greenville Baptist Female College opened on the campus of the Greenville Academy. It was governed by Furman’s board of trustees until 1908, when it acquired its own board. In 1916, it became the Greenville Woman’s College.

Furman was accredited in 1924 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and during that same year the university became a beneficiary of The Duke Endowment established by James Buchanan Duke. In 1933, Furman and the Greenville Woman’s College were coordinated under a single president and board. This is the reason why this statue sits here today at the The Duke Endowment.

Rev. John G. Landrum and James Clement Furman were close friends, both signed the SC Ordinance of Secession in 1861, both prominent leaders in South Carolina Baptist Convention, both were a part of South Carolina history during time of great changes in the south.

Sarah’s family has wonderful history, amazing South Carolina ties, and interesting connections that make me thankful we can carry the Landrum name forward. It is my hope that George Landrum Rettew will embrace his name sake.

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