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Harrison Weir who grew up on a family farm in Fountain Inn is the oldest of five brothers, two of which are currently studying at Furman University.
Harrison was homeschooled predominantly by his mom who was a former schoolteacher.

He enrolled in an online high school for his last two years to receive his diploma.

A German studies and politics and international affairs double major, Weir is the son of Erik and Robin Weir. He has been awarded a Fulbright teaching assistantship to Salzburg, Austria.

“Our strong German studies program and mentoring by Ilka Rasch (associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures) have been a significant element in our Fulbright successes for many years,” says Scott Henderson, director of Furman’s National and
International Scholars program. “Furman applicants go through significant vetting and preparation, more so than applicants get at larger universities, but even more attention than applicants receive at many other liberal arts and sciences colleges. This is part of what we mean by The Furman

Rasch says the success of Furman students in the Fulbright program is due to the university’s “strong focus on interdisciplinary mentoring, internships, transferable global competencies and our full-immersion, semester-long study abroad program at the Freie Universität Berlin, one of
Germany’s best universities.” The new graduates will teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad. Due to COVID-19, grants are postponed until January 2021. Students typically serve a 10-month stint overseas.

Including this year’s recipients, 44 Furman students have received Fulbright Student Program Grants, starting with William King and Dan Wages in 1949. King went to France and Wages to the United Kingdom. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international
educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The other Furman recipients are:

  • Nettie (“Smith”) Childs from Atlanta (Brookhaven), Georgia, a Spanish and sociology double major. She has been awarded a Fulbright teaching assistantship to Colombia, pending that government’s continued funding during the pandemic. Childs is the daughter of James and Natalie Childs.
  • Zachary (“Zach”) Hughes from Chesterfield, Missouri. An English major, Hughes has been awarded Furman’s first Fulbright teaching assistantship to India. He is the son of Thomas and Laura Hughes.
  • Emily Peeler from Mobile, Alabama, a German studies and math-economics double major. The daughter of David and Cindy Peeler, she has been awarded a Fulbright teaching assistantship to Germany.
  • Audrey Rotman from Ottawa Hills, Ohio. A communication and German studies major, Rotman has been awarded a teaching assistantship to Salzburg, Austria. Her parents are Phillip and Beth Rotman.
  • Samantha Whitley from Fort Mill, South Carolina. Whitley is a German studies and politics and international affairs double major. She has been awarded a Fulbright teaching assistantship to Germany. Her parents are William and Dawn Whitley.

By Clinton Colmenares
Director of News and Media Strategy
Furman University

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