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New Student Notes Furman's Friendliness, Scholarship

An article appearing in Furman's student newspaper, The Paladin, dated February 19, 1965. The article is about Joe Vaughn '68, his reception on campus, and his opinion of Furman after his first weeks there. Joseph Vaughn became the university's first African American student on Jan. 29, 1965.

New Student Notes Furman's Friendliness, Scholarship -- By Larry Estridge -- "I always thought that Furman would be a friendly place. I never feared a cold reception from Furman Students. I had hoped that nobody would try to be too friendly and go overboard to make me comfortable. I would have felt awkard if that had been the case. Well, everybody has been just great. Thanks to their help, adjusting to new situations has been surprisingly easy." In these words Joe Vaughn describes his reception as the first Negro boarding student of Furman University. Vaughn seems sincere when he says he is quite happy with Furman. He bubbles over with enthusiasm when he talks about fellow students who have accepted his as "just another regular guy," about his teachers, about dormitory life and about the Davidson game, "the best game I've seen in years." The freshman student views his coming to Furman, not as a part of any great movement, not as any sort of monumental precedent. He sees it as the fulfillment of his dream to get "the best education available in this part of the country." He has found that there is quite a difference academically between Furman and J. C. Smith University, from which he transferred. "An 'A' at Smith is about the same as a 'C' at Furman. I managed to get a 2.3 GPR (of a possible 3.0) by studying five or six hours a week. At Furman I have to study four or five hours each day just to keep up. However, I don't mind studying harder here, because I realize the value of what I'm getting at Furman. Vaughn plans to major in English and minor in French. After graduation he hopes to do graduate work, possibly abroad, and return to South Carolina as a high school teacher. He would like to teach at his Alma Mater, Sterling High School in Greenville. "I feel that as a teacher more than in any other capacity I know of, I can be instrumental in helping Negroes to help themselves.'' Vaughn is quite versatile and has found time for a few extra-curricular activities. He is a pledge in the Pershing Rifles, a precision military drill organization, and has enjoyed the vesper services sponsored by the BSU. He Iikes to read books, especially nonfiction. In glancing about his room in McGlothin dormitory, one notices titles such as "Quo Vadis" and "Of Human Bondage" in his bookcase and on his desk.