INDIANAAPOLIS, December 10. BRUCE Furniss, one of the most prolific swimmers in college history and one of the all-time greats at the University of Southern California, has been named one of six recipients of the 2004 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.
The Award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since completing their college athletics careers 25 years ago. The recipients will be honored on Jan. 11 at the Honors Dinner during the annual NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tenn.
The other 2004 honorees are Trish Millines Dziko (basketball, volleyball, softball at Monmouth), Virginia Anne (Ginny) Gilder (rowing at Yale), Stacey Johnson (fencing at San Jose State), Gregory Kelser (basketball at Michigan State) and Kelleen Winslow (football at Missouri).
Furniss is the ninth Trojan and the second Trojan swimmer to receive this prestigious award. John Naber won the award in 2002. Other USC winners: John Ferraro (1973), Al Geiberger (1984), Mike Garrett (1991), Stan Smith (1993), Lynn Swann (1999), Pat Haden (2000) and Debbie Landreth Brown (2003).
Furniss helped the Trojans secure two NCAA swimming team championships in 1976 and 1977 and four Pac-10 titles from 1976 to 1979. The 18-time all-American also captured six national crowns in the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relay and the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Furniss, who competed despite battling severely crippling arthritis, also dominated on the international scene as a four-time world-record holder in the 200-meter freestyle and in the 800-meter freestyle relay. A 19-time American record holder, Furniss collected gold medals at the 1975 and 1978 World Championships. In addition, he was a two-time gold medalist at the 1976 Olympic Games (in the 200-meter freestyle and as a member of the United States' 800 freestyle relay, both in world record time).
Named to the United States Swimming Team of the Century in 2000, the 1987 International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee and 2001 USC Athletic Hall of Fame inductee has been a senior investment advisor with Hendricks & Partners since 2002 and formerly was a senior vice-president with Grubb & Ellis from 1998 to 2002. A member of United States Swimming's board of directors from 1981 to 1987, Furniss was an Olympic Torchbearer in 1984 and 1996. In addition, he has been on the board of directors for the Los Angeles and Orange County chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and has served as campaign chair for the organization's annual telethon.
Furniss helped to establish "Swim with Mike," an annual charity swim event originally designed to raise money for Mike Nyeholt, a swimmer at USC who was injured. The program has raised more than $4 million, which has translated into more than 45 full scholarships for physically challenged athletes to attend college.
Furniss also has been a volunteer with the Orange County YMCA and serves as a professional career mentor to current student-athletes at USC.
He has three aquatic brothers, all of whom competed for USC: older brothers, Steve, an Olympic bronze medalist who won four NCAA individual medley titles, and Chip, a three-time All-American swimmer, and younger brother, Craig, a 2-time All-American on the water polo team (and USC's co-valedictorian).