Furr Doesn't Ask For Money Naturally
Folks around Wesson know Angela Furr as Co-Lin's money lady, but she admits asking for dollars doesn't come naturally.
As Executive Director of the Co-Lin Foundation and Alumni Relations, Furr solicits funds to help the college provide and sustain community and student learning opportunities, cultural enrichment for students and their communities, academic and athletic programs, student and faculty scholarships, and computer technology, among other things.
The Co-Lin Foundation, Inc., is the fundraising arm of the college. It is a nonprofit corporation that serves as a clearinghouse for private sector monies given to Co-Lin. The Foundation is governed by a 25-member board of directors, and its goal is to raise private monies to support the mission of the college.
"Raising money does not come naturally for me, but I have loved Co-Lin since my student years and enjoy the relationships I develop and cultivate with others who love it as well," Furr says. “Most people are willing to give back to the college when they’re asked, so that makes it easy to do what I do. I’m happy I can serve Co-Lin in this way.”
For Co-Lin's board members, other officers and staff members, the feeling is mutual.
Furr grew up in New Hebron in Lawrence County in a family in which she was the oldest of four children, including two brothers and a sister. As a child, she remembers liking school, being a good student, and particularly enjoying English and the humanities. When she was 15 years old, she started working after school at the Super Value grocery store in Monticello, and she remained employed there throughout high school.
At Lawrence County High School from which she graduated in 2000, Furr was a student leader, enjoyed service roles in its Beta Club, performed in plays as a member of the drama club and was editor of the school newspaper. "I liked writing poetry and short stories, but preferred technical writing like news stories and, strangely enough, term papers," she recalls.
In 2002, Furr received in Associate in Arts degree from Co-Lin, where she was involved in numerous student organizations and served as editor of The Wolf Tales, the student newspaper. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a Master of Science in Mass Communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg in 2004 and 2005.
In 2005, she also married her husband Cliff Furr, who she met in a journalism class at Co-Lin. She and Cliff, who teaches high school English and is sports editor of The Daily Leader, live in Brookhaven with their two children -- Amelia, 13, and Graham, 9.
Furr has spent her entire professional career so far at Co-Lin, coming to the college in 2005 as the College Recruiter, becoming Associate Director of Alumni Affairs in 2009 and moving into the executive role at the Co-Lin Foundation and Alumni Relations office in 2018 as interim director before being named Executive Director in July 2019.
In her current job, she oversees all Co-Lin foundation and alumni relations of the college, with a primary focus on fundraising. She has also served as an adjunct instructor in the humanities division of Co-Lin for more than 10 years. She was the recipient of Co-Lin's Howell C. Garner High Performance Award in 2009.
What are your hobbies? I support whatever my children are participating in and that takes up most of my free time. Graham plays soccer and Amelia runs cross country. I am fortunate to work in a job I enjoy and be a mom at the same time. I’m involved in community organizations like the Brookhaven/Lincoln County Rotary Club, in which I served as president. I am also a member of the United Way of Lincoln County Board of Directors, the Mississippi Community College Inter-Alumni Association, and Heucks Retreat Baptist Church, where I volunteer in the children’s and youth ministries. I am into exercise and enjoy running and spin (indoor cycling).
Are you a reader?
I used to read everything I could get my hands on -- fiction, non-fiction, memoirs. My all-time favorites are classics like Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I have less time to read than I would like today.
Are you into music?
I love music. My husband and I enjoy seeing live shows any chance we get. We recently attended a Jason Isbell concert; he’s an Americana singer/songwriter. Personally, I am not a musician, although I make a joyful noise in the pews at my church.
Do you enjoy movies or theater?
I am super into pop culture and entertainment. I love prestige TV shows and going to the movies. I’m excited to finally get to see Hamilton on stage in a few months with some girlfriends.
What would you do with lottery winnings if you were so lucky? I would donate to charities like the Co-Lin Foundation, put money into the renovation of my 100-year-old house and take a trip to Hawaii.
How would you change the world? The world would be much better if we all followed the Golden Rule -- in politics, faith and everyday life.