Baylor Mourns Passing of Accomplished Alumna

May 17, 2010

Dr. Virginia Mann Sugg Furrow, an alumna of Baylor University and Baylor College of Medicine, passed away April 25, 2010, at her home in Tucson, Ariz. Survived by three children, son William "Bill" Furrow, and daughters, Anne Furrow and Betty Beving, as well as a niece and nephew and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, she will be remembered as a pioneer in the medical field and a faithful supporter of her alma mater.

"Dr. Furrow embodies all that we hope for in our distinguished alumni," Dr. David E. Garland, interim president of Baylor University and dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary, said. "Although she went on to accomplish many great things, she reserved a special place in her heart for our institution. We are touched by her loyalty and are forever grateful for her generosity."

Furrow graduated from Baylor University in 1938 with a bachelor of science degree and went on to earn a doctor of medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1942. One of just two women in her graduating class, she had a memorable career in pediatrics. In addition to succeeding in a male-dominated field, she cared for young victims of polio and tuberculosis and was one of the first doctors to treat patients with the drug penicillin.

On March 4, 1960, she married Vernon Furrow, a business owner who grew a small lumber company into the construction materials retailer that later became known as Payless Cashways. The couple enjoyed traveling together and shared a passion for philanthropy -- a legacy that Furrow continued, even after her husband passed away in 1987.

A longtime supporter of Baylor, Furrow established two scholarship funds that have impacted the lives of many students. The Virginia Sugg Furrow Endowed Scholarship Fund benefits graduate students pursuing a doctoral degree in the Texas Baptist Scholars Program, while the Virginia Furrow Singers Music Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance for students in a variety of musical disciplines. The celebrated musical theatre ensemble Baylor SHOWTIME! is comprised of young performers who have received the Furrow Singers scholarship.

"Baylor SHOWTIME! attracts some of the best talent on the Baylor campus," SHOWTIME! Director and Furrow scholarship recipient Daniel Farris said. "Dr. Furrow's generosity allows students, who otherwise could not afford to be a part of this ensemble, a chance to develop their God-given abilities and to bring joy to our audiences."

In 1992 Furrow was awarded the James Huckins and Pat Neff medallions for exemplary service and philanthropy to Baylor University. Her legacy of generosity extends beyond Baylor to the many other charitable organizations that she faithfully supported, including her church, Casas Adobes Baptist Church in Tucson, the University of Arizona and the Boy Scouts of America.

Contact: Jill Scoggins, Office of Media Communications, (254) 710-1964

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