Her presence has seemed larger than life over the years, especially in her teaching role in Greenville County Schools during desegregation. Now, Pearlie Harris is literally larger than life as the centerpiece of a massive mural project, which was installed at the eight-story Canvas Tower in downtown Greenville Aug. 26. Harris, who received a Master of Arts in education from Furman University in 1983, was humbled by the tribute. “Education is so important in Greenville, and I am so proud of the honor,” she said. “It (the mural) is an inspiration and hope it will be an inspiration to all of the community.” The announcement of the mural was covered in The Greenville News.
An avid volunteer in the community, Harris is the namesake of Bon Secours Health System’s Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health. In recent years, she has served as an honorary coach at Furman for the national collegiate women’s basketball “Play for Kay” event, a fundraiser for breast cancer.
The mural has yet another Furman connection. Sage Criss, pictured to the left of Harris, is the daughter of Shaniece Criss, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Sciences.