Furman and Upcountry History Museum join forces

February 22, 2012 | Vince Moore

history museum
history museum
history museum

by Vince Moore, Media Relations

Furman University and the Upcountry History Museum have entered into a new partnership that will unite the intellectual and cultural resources of both institutions to advance the museum’s mission of promoting, presenting and preserving the history of Upcountry South Carolina.

The agreement, which was finalized on Feb. 1, calls for Furman to assume full responsibility for the operation and management of the museum and its various activities.  The museum’s 28-member Board of Directors will retain ownership of the facilities, and assist Furman in membership activities and fundraising.  The museum’s seven full-time staff members are now employees of the university.

The partnership is for an initial three-year term, and is renewable thereafter on an annual basis. The museum name will be “The Upcountry History Museum --? Furman University.”

“Furman is very excited about this new partnership with the museum,” said university president Rod Smolla.  “It will give us a significant presence in downtown Greenville and further enhance our engagement with the larger community.  It’s also a homecoming for the university since the former Furman women’s campus was located in the Heritage Green area of the museum.”

While Upcountry history will continue to be the museum’s primary focus, Furman will have the flexibility to offer exhibits, lectures and other programs with a broader historical and social significance.  The university also expects Furman faculty and students to benefit from and contribute to the new partnership, both in terms of programming and internship opportunities.

“All of us associated with the museum are tremendously excited about the collaboration with Furman,” said Ken Johnson, the museum’s interim executive director.  “This relationship will offer extraordinary intellectual resources for the museum’s gallery and our ongoing programming, and it will also provide an excellent downtown venue for Furman.  I believe the opportunities for both institutions are almost limitless.”

The Upcountry History Museum, which sits on Heritage Green and promotes the history of the Upcountry’s 15 counties, opened to the public in 2007.  Its mission is to present and preserve the history of Upcountry South Carolina through education, research and service.