Converse College Receives $2.5 Million Gift

Wilson Hall, Converse College

Wilson Hall, Converse College

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (June 1, 2021) – Converse College has received a gift of more than $2.5 million. The gift from the George Earnest Burwell, Jr. Charitable Trust will fund a project to be announced at a later date.


The Burwell trust was established by the Estate of George E. Burwell, Jr., and his daughter Faith Burwell Stewart-Gordon was the lifetime income beneficiary, with Converse designated as the remainder beneficiary upon her death.

“George E. Burwell, Jr.’s trust, which cared for his daughter during her lifetime and now provides a legacy gift to Converse, shows how his generosity and careful planning cared for his loved one, and then created a legacy that helps future generations of Converse students,” said Krista L. Newkirk, Converse president. “His altruism allows Converse to remain focused on providing a transformative education and experience for our students as we prepare them to become engaged, adaptable, global citizens committed to progress within our society and the communities in which they live and work.”

George E. Burwell, Jr. was the owner of Burwell Chevrolet in Spartanburg. His first wife, Faith C. Burwell graduated from Converse in 1923 with a Bachelor of Music in Voice and served as a member of the Converse Board of Trustees from 1953-1962. Their daughter, Faith Burwell Stewart-Gordon, attended Converse from 1949-1950 and in 1971 established the Faith Courtney Burwell scholarship for music students, in honor of her mother. Faith Burwell Stewart-Gordon served on the Converse Board of Trustees from 1995-1996. She was also owner of the Russian Tea Room in New York City and passed away in October 2020.

About Converse College
Converse empowers students to become transformative leaders who see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly. Converse was founded in 1889 by citizens of Spartanburg, SC, who aimed to create an educational experience for women, and in fall 2020 it welcomed its first undergraduate co-educational incoming class. Converse students experience deep scholarship, transformative mentorship, experiential learning, and wonderful support for and belief in each other. Through this unique formula, Converse is a creator of opportunity for its students through a personalized education that also includes the professional and technical skills graduates need to be successful in their careers. Effective July 1, 2021, Converse will acknowledge its university status under the name Converse University.


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