Last winter, as Susan Fuhrman was moving into the home stretch of her 12-year presidency at Teachers College, friends and colleagues decided to honor her by creating the Susan H. Fuhrman Endowed Scholarship. The Fuhrman Scholarship – which supports students who “embrace a multidisciplinary approach in their work” – has since raised nearly $1 million.

Now Fuhrman and her husband, Bob Fuhrman, have responded in kind by establishing a generous charitable gift annuity to be added to the endowed scholarship.

“One of the things I’m proudest of about my presidency is that we focused our efforts on scholarship as the cornerstone of all of TC’s fundraising efforts,” Fuhrman said. Indeed, in TC’s now-concluded Campaign, Where the Future Comes First, nearly every gift and grant proposal incorporated a student scholarship component. The Campaign, which raised $343.6 million overall, generated $115 million in scholarship support and created more than 160 new endowed or restricted scholarships and more than 250 annual fund scholarships.

In many of her speeches as President, Fuhrman cited the example of Grace Hoadley Dodge, TC’s founder, who made the College’s first significant planned gift (a scholarship that is still operative today) and was known for her “hundred-year” outlook.

“I talked about Grace so often that I think it became ingrained – so when it came to making this gift, I could hear her guiding me,” Fuhrman said. “Because extending the ability of students to attend TC well into the future is the top priority for all of us.”

More broadly, she said, “having oriented the College toward scholarship giving, Bob and I felt it was important to make a statement with our own gift as a commitment to scholarship. Reducing the financial burden on TC’s students should be foremost in all our thoughts.” 

Bob and I felt it was important to make a statement with our own gift as a commitment to scholarship. Reducing the financial burden on TC’s students should be foremost in all our thoughts."

— Susan Fuhrman

To that end, she is also very proud that nearly 40 percent of individual gifts to the Campaign came from alumni, compared with 15 percent during TC’s first campaign in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“We have a great community, and the Campaign has done even more to strengthen it,” she says. “People will really stay involved.”

Clearly, that starts at the top.