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For a former student, Joe Vaughn’s gift won’t be forgotten

Black man in sweater holding books, Joseph Vaughn
Joseph Vaughn '68 in front of the James B. Duke Library in 1965.

As Furman University unveils a sculpture of Joseph Vaughn ’68, the first African American to enroll at the university, Furman alumnus Steve Cothran ’86 offers a tribute to Vaughn in The Greenville News. Cothran’s senior year English teacher at Mauldin High School, Vaughn is remembered for his ear-to-ear smile, his fun-loving nature, quick wit and his deep engagement with students. “His humor and zest for life opened doors and brought people together. We were drawn to his exuberance, but we looked forward to his class each day because he cared about us and what we were learning,” wrote Cothran.

Cothran, a religion major who participated in ROTC at Furman, is associate pastor for students/families at Central Baptist Church in Newnan, Georgia.

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