GREENVILLE — Furman University Athletics received its largest gift from a single donor to date after a businessman gave $10 million toward its ongoing basketball arena refit.
The university called the donation from Ravenel B. Curry, a 1963 alumnus and Greenwood native, the cornerstone in its larger $40 million Timmons Arena renovation project that is being funded primarily through donor gifts.
Curry and his late wife founded Eagle Capital Management in New York, a now $25 billion investment firm where Curry serves as the chief investment officer.
“This very generous pledge by Ravenel Curry will help us take basketball to the next level," university President Elizabeth Davis said in a statement. "It will greatly enrich experiences for our students and our fans in the Greenville area. When renovations are complete, Timmons Arena will be a college basketball showplace.”
The first renovation to the 100,000-square-foot arena started in September 2021 with the coaches' offices, locker and film rooms, funded by a $3 million fund raising push. Later renovations are dependent on the money raised to get to the project's total cost.
Vice President of Athletics Jason Donnelly said in a press release "more than half of the total has been reached."
The other future aspects of the arena makeover include the addition of donor suites; improved student experience; enhanced food, beverage and merchandise concession areas; upgrades to the entrance and exterior; and changes to the court and seating area.
The university hopes the arena revamp will aid in the recruitment and retention of talent to the men's and women's basketball programs. Additional details regarding next steps and other future donors will be announced "as they become available," according to a news release.
Donations like Curry's not only will help fund this renovation but "also represents Furman Athletics' shift to being funded by sports revenue and philanthropy," Donnelly said.
Curry's donation is the largest single gift to the athletics program to date.
The Beth and Ravenel Curry Foundation is still used today by Curry and his wife Jane Moss to donate to various causes. In 2004, the Chinese studies program received a $1 million donation from the foundation to build up the program, including Furman's study away program in China. Curry has also held a number of former titles with the school, including a board of trustee member, chair of the investment committee and president of the alumni board.