Furman University Oral Histories

Streaming Media


Video interview with Dr. Ernie Harrill, former Dean of Students. Dr. Harrill taught Political Science at Furman from 1949 to 1983. He begins this 2003 interview discussing his arrival at Furman. Dr. Harrill explains how he got the job, and gives his impressions of the old downtown campus when he arrived. He tells stories of his early teaching days, and talks about the tough conditions in the classrooms, very cold in the winter, and hot in the summer. Dr. Harrill tells stories of student life on the old campus, and shares some of his experiences with controversial situations, and also some funny situations. He talks about the groundbreaking of the new campus, and describes the new campus. Dr. Harrill speaks about Julius Gladney, Betty Alverson, President John Plyler and his wife Bea Plyler, President Gordon Blackwell, Olivia Futch, and Marguerite Chiles. He talks about his time as Dean of Students and controversial fraternity issues, as well as desegregation at Furman. Dr. Harrill gives some details on the installation of Furman's Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 1973, and he closes talking about President John Plyler and Dean Francis Bonner, what they were like, and what it was like working with the two men.

Publication Date


City and State

Greenville (S.C.)


Furman University; History; Oral histories; College teachers; College administrators




Copyright Furman University Department of History. Materials are intended for non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, and are not to be reproduced or distributed without written permission. In compliance with fair use, whenever items are used for personal use, research, or teaching, please credit as follows: 'Furman University, Department of History'.

Ernie Harrill Oral History

Included in

History Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.