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Joseph Vaughn Day public event postponed

Artist rendering of the Joseph Vaughn Plaza that will be installed on the front steps of the Duke Library
A rendering of the Joseph Vaughn Plaza and statue. The statue will be installed and unveiled later this semester.

Due to the high rates of COVID-19 in the Greenville and Upstate areas, a public celebration of Joseph Vaughn on Jan. 29 has been postponed. Michael Jennings, Ph.D., chief diversity officer for Furman, and Chandra Dillard, director of community relations, co-chairs of the Joseph Vaughn Day planning committee, announced the decision in an email to the campus community this morning.

Each year, Furman recognizes Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first Black undergraduate student, on Jan. 29, the date he enrolled here in 1965. This year the university was hoping to have a public celebration on that date with the unveiling of a statue in his honor.

“The statue will be installed on the new plaza in front of Duke Library at a later date, and we will find an appropriate time to gather safely, unveil the statue and celebrate its symbolism, significance and relevance to the university,” Jennings and Dillard said. “We will communicate the day and time of this event as soon as possible.”

Jan. 29 will still be Joseph Vaughn Day. The campus community can expect to hear about other ways to remember and celebrate Joseph Vaughn, his enduring spirit and the impact he has had on helping us to make the university a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.

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