GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX CAROLINA)  Furman University is shining a light on some of its early history that’s uncomfortable for some to talk about. It’s all in the name of diversity and inclusivity moving forward.

A Task Force on Slavery and Justice came together last spring to take a closer look at the University’s historical connections to slavery.

The founder of Furman University owned slaves and slaves played a role in building the original campus.

Detailed findings of the task force, published in a report called “Seeking Abraham,” were released last summer and Monday the university and its Board of Trustees made some announcements on how to advance.

The biggest part of the announcement is that Furman University’s Board of Trustees has endorsed expanding a scholarship fund that honors the memory of the University’s first African-American student.

The Joseph Vaughn Scholarship will be increased to one million dollars in annual awards each year. A special committee has been established to consider other recommendations that came out of the task force’s report.

Those recommendations include items like installing a statue of Joseph Vaughn, renaming two roads for Furman’s first female African-American students and the addition of historical markers and plaques that will raise the general understanding of Furman’s history and its relationship with slavery.

Those will be presented to the full board for consideration in May.

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