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David Segal '63
Growing up, David Segal '63 never had dreams of attending Furman University. In fact, as a renowned international athlete and Olympian in Great Britain, Segal says he had "never heard of Furman and barely knew that South Carolina was in the United States." However, that would all change--along with the trajectory of his future--with a phone call from a local journalist.
Segal received an unexpected phone call from Peter Wilson, sports editor of the London Daily Mirror, informing him of an opportunity to compete in the United States. Chuck Rohe, the track coach at Furman, needed to fill a scholarship for a sprinter, and Wilson thought Segal might just fit the bill.
While Segal was unfamiliar with the school, he decided to give it a shot. On the heels of two British national championships and three years of service in the Royal Air Force, Segal and his father thought a scholarship to attend college could be a great next step for him. Segal reached out to Coach Rohe, and things moved quickly from there. Segal writes, "Within a month I had taken the (SAT) exam, done research on South Carolina and Furman, and was on an aeroplane to the USA on the way to becoming the first person in my family to earn a college degree."
Segal says it was a decision he never regretted. He had a stellar track career at Furman, earning nine individual titles and five relay championships, and he would later be inducted in the Furman Athletic Hall of Fame. But Furman was far more than athletic accolades for Segal. He reflects fondly on the entirety of his Furman experience-receiving a top-notch education, building relationships with beloved professors, editing the Furman newspaper, and running a summer track and field program for Greenville children. Through it all, he says, "the greatest lesson I learned from my experience at Furman was humility. The world did not revolve around David Segal."
Though the world may not revolve around him, David Segal's Furman experience expanded his world and helped him find his place in it. Because of the impact of his time here, Segal believes wholeheartedly in the university's mission and vision for the future. He has chosen to show his gratitude for Furman with a planned gift through a family trust. With his gift, Segal will not only support the programs most meaningful to his Furman experience, but will also guarantee that his legacy lives on for generations.