Greenville: Furman’s Nancy Cooper retiring after 36 years serving students, community

College campus farewell event.

Greenville: Furman’s Nancy Cooper retiring after 36 years serving students, community

Nancy Cooper retires after 36 years at Furman University

Nancy Cooper, the Volunteer Coordinator for Furman University’s Heller Service Corps, is retiring after 36 years of dedicated service. Cooper, a Greenville native, describes her journey to the university as a twist of fate, starting from her role as a stay-at-home mom volunteering in her community.

Cooper’s life took a significant turn when her husband was diagnosed with a rare health condition, leading her to seek employment to support her family. After a series of temporary placements at Furman, Cooper found a permanent position as the volunteer coordinator for the Heller Service Corps in 1988, a role she held for over three decades.

A legacy of service and connection

During her time at Furman, Cooper made it her mission to connect with each student she encountered, earning the endearing title ‘Ms. Nancy.’ Her genuine care and support for the students have left a lasting impact on the university community, with many describing her as a second mother.

Sammy Dameske, the student director of the Heller Service Corps, shared how Cooper’s office became a welcoming space for students seeking guidance and support. Her compassionate nature and selfless dedication have endeared her to generations of students at Furman.

Leaving a lasting impact

As Cooper prepares to retire at the end of the current academic year, she leaves behind a legacy of service and compassion. Despite stepping down from her official role, Cooper remains committed to supporting her community through volunteering and spending time with her family.

Named a new endowment fund in her honor, the Nancy Cooper Valentine’s Dance for Exceptional Adults will continue to support the Heller Service Corps’s initiatives, ensuring that Cooper’s legacy of caring for others lives on.

A lasting legacy

Furman University recently honored Nancy Cooper by naming a new endowment fund for the Nancy Cooper Valentine’s Dance for Exceptional Adults. The endowment will help to support Heller Service Corps’s Valentine’s Day dance for adults with special needs. “This one night is the easiest thing we do — the least amount of work with the biggest impact,” Cooper said.

A mother to all

Reflecting on Cooper’s impact, colleagues and students alike have praised her for her unwavering support and nurturing presence. Kristin Irwin, Furman’s director of career education, referred to Cooper as her ‘work mom,’ highlighting her passion for making others feel welcome.

Sammy Dameske, the Heller Service Corps’s student director, described Cooper as the ‘mom of Furman,’ emphasizing her caring and supportive nature towards all students. Madi Ogburn, Furman assistant director of communications and assessment, echoed similar sentiments, referring to Cooper as a mother figure who embodies kindness and love.

As Nancy Cooper prepares to embark on the next chapter of her life, her impact on the Furman community and beyond will continue to resonate through the lives of those she has touched over the years.

HERE Greenville
Author: HERE Greenville

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