Deborah L. Fuhrman '84
Year Inducted: 2008
Named to the list of Brown’s 100 Greatest Athletes of the
Century, Debbi Fuhrman is one of the finest gymnasts to ever
compete for Brown University. Her accomplishments were not only
remarkable for her time, but her successes on the national level
set her apart as among the best in the history of the program
despite only competing for two seasons.
During her freshman year, Fuhrman was the all-around champion
in every dual meet competition and won 22 of 24 individual events.
Her performances led the Bears to an undefeated dual and tri-meet
record in 1981, finishing 10-0, while earning her All-Ivy
accolades. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Performer
and qualified for the Eastern Regionals in the all-around. Her
undefeated record in the all-around earned her National attention,
as she was featured in Sports Illustrated on May 18, 1981 in
“Faces in the Crowd.”
Fuhrman enjoyed just as much success during her sophomore
season, receiving the team’s Most Valuable Performer award
for the second time after leading Brown to a 10-1 record. She was
the team’s highest scorer in all four events, and became the
first Brown gymnast to win an event at the Ivy League
Championships, placing first on the vault with the Ivy
League’s first full twist-on, handspring-off skill.
Fuhrman notched a third-place finish on the floor exercise and
uneven bars at the Eastern Championships that season, the best
showing ever in the regional meet by a Brown gymnast, and became
Bruno’s first gymnast to qualify for the Association of
Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Championships,
the forerunner of the NCAA Women’s Championships. She also
became the first to qualify for Nationals, and finished sixth in
the nation on the floor.
Following her sophomore year, Fuhrman became a member of the
Dance Extension and choreographed a routine for the 1984 show and
also served as the Co-Chairman of Freshman Orientation Week. She
received the Minnie Helen Hicks award in English and earned a
Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts.
Currently, Fuhrman is an actress, dancer, choreographer and
fitness professional. From 2003-06, she performed as Kelly
Ripa’s stand-in and stunt double on the sitcom Hope and
Faith. She is a frequent featured performer with Antigravity (a
gymnastic dance company), has appeared in several soap operas,
national commercials, and on Sesame Street and Nickelodeon. Most
recently, she appeared in the 2008 Oscar nominated film, The
Savages, and has also choreographed dance segments in the
upcoming movie, Sassy Girl, as well as a tango scene in
Fox’s new series, Canterbury’s Law.
Fuhrman is a Reiki master and a group meditation leader as
well as a certified personal trainer and an aerobic instructor. She
recently founded Athletic Explorers, a fitness company devoted to
offering solutions to childhood obesity by means of a series of
workouts for kids ages four to nine.