Francis Marion University
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|Endowment||Nearly $25 million|
|President||Dr. Luther Fred Carter|
|Location||Florence, South Carolina, United States|
|Campus||Rural, 400 acres (162 ha)|
|Colors||█ ██ Red, White & Blue|
|Athletics||NCAA Division II, Peach Belt
12 varsity teams, two of which are Division I independents
Francis Marion University (formerly Francis Marion College) is a state-supported liberal arts university located six miles (11 km) east of Florence, South Carolina, USA. It is named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Brigadier General Francis Marion.
The university dates back to 1957, when the University of South Carolina set up a freshman center at the Florence County Library. A few years later, in 1961, USC-Florence was set up on land donated by the Wallace family six miles east of Florence, South Carolina. In 1966, many in the Florence area pushed to establish a four-year university. Governor Robert E. McNair signed into law an act creating Francis Marion College, effective July 1, 1970. The newly created Francis Marion College initially enrolled 907 students from 23 of South Carolina's 46 counties in 10 departments.
In 1992, Francis Marion College achieved university status and subsequently changed its name to Francis Marion University. Today, Francis Marion enrolls over 4,100 students from 32 states and 17 different countries. Francis Marion is one of South Carolina's 13 state-assisted universities. Since 1999, Francis Marion University has consistently ranked as one of the South's best regional universities, earning it a spot in US News and World Reports America's Best Colleges.
Located on a 400-acre (162 ha) tract of land originally included in a grant by the King of England and later made a cotton plantation by the Wallace Family, Francis Marion University is situated 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Florence. The campus includes 100 acres (40 ha) of mixed pine-hardwood and bottomland forests accessed by a series of trails. The University is located on U.S. Highways 76 and 301 and is just an hour's drive from Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand and 4 hours from the Blue Ridge Mountains. With a metropolitan-area population of 200,000, the city of Florence is nestled alongside Interstate 95, the main north-south corridor from the New England area to Miami, and at the eastern end of Interstate 20. The city is served by Amtrak, bus service, and a regional airport.
Francis Marion is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award bachelor's and master's degrees. The business programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The teacher education programs of the university are accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education under standards developed by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). The baccalaureate degree nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing. The chemistry program is approved by the Committee on Professional Training of the American Chemical Society. The graduate psychology program is accredited by the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC) and meets the standards of training approved by the Council of Applied Master's Programs in Psychology (CAMPP). The Master of Science in Applied Psychology Program is accredited by the Interorganizational Board for Accreditation of Master's in Psychology Programs (IBAMPP). The theater arts program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), and the visual arts and art education programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). The University is approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education and is a member of the American Council on Education and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
Majors and degrees
Francis Marion University offers five undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of General Studies, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
More than forty areas of study are available, including majors, cooperative programs with other institutions, and pre-professional programs. Students can choose to major in accounting, art education, biology, business economics, chemistry, computer science, early childhood education, economics, elementary education, engineering-dual degree, engineering technology, English (liberal arts, education, and professional writing options), finance, French, general business administration, German, health physics, history, industrial engineering, international studies, management, management information systems, marketing, mass communication, mathematics, middle-level education, music industry, nursing, physics, political science, psychology, sociology, Spanish, theater arts, and visual arts. Students majoring in English and mathematics may choose the teacher certification option in these areas.
Graduate degrees include the Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science in Applied Psychology (clinical and school psychology tracks), and Specialist in School Psychology. All master's degree programs are accredited by their respective professional organizations.
A number of FMU's individual academic programs have also been accredited by specialized agencies.
A physician assistant program will begin at FMU in 2016.
The University's physical plant includes ten major buildings: J. Howard Stokes Administration Building, James A. Rogers Library, Ronald E. McNair Science Building, Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Science Facility, Walter Douglas Smith University Center, Founders Hall, John K. Cauthen Educational Media Center (home of Cauthen Cafe, now serving Starbucks), Peter D. Hyman Fine Arts Center, Thomas C. Stanton Academic Computer Center, and the Lee Nursing Building. In addition, the University constructed new student apartments on campus in 2006. Francis Marion is also home to a two-story observatory, equipped with a 14-inch (360 mm) reflecting telescope, and a planetarium that offers public shows twice monthly.
The University has an excellent writing center available for student and FMU community use throughout the school year; the center provides online and face-to-face assistance for students working on writing assignments for any class. In addition, the FMU English Department offers majors in liberal arts, education, and professional writing tracks as well as hosts a Fiction and Poetry Festival each fall.
Francis Marion also has the Richardson Center for the Child, a child-care facility for faculty, staff, and students.
Completed in Summer 2011, the FMU Performing Arts Center is located in downtown Florence. It provides performance venues for the region featuring national, regional, and local performing artists. Additionally, the Performing Arts Center provides instructional facilities, practice rooms, and faculty offices for the Music Industry Program offered by the FMU Department of Fine Arts.
The Griffin Athletic Complex, located near the main FMU campus, opened in 2012. The complex includes new baseball, softball, and soccer stadiums, a fieldhouse, and a five-acre lake.
As of 2011-12, FMU has a total of 262 professors. 198 of those professors are full-time. All faculty members have advanced degrees, and 79 percent of the full-time faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees. The average class size is 21 students. All students are assigned a faculty adviser (in their curriculum) to assist them with class scheduling and academic planning.
The Francis Marion athletics program is a member of the NCAA Division II Peach Belt Conference, which consists of 13 member schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The school sponsors six intercollegiate men's sports (baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, and tennis) and six women's sports (basketball, cross-country, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.) The Patriot women's soccer team and the men's golf team both compete as NCAA Division I independents.
Francis Marion University fields numerous fraternities and sororities, as well as other clubs and organizations on campus. Fraternities and sororities present on campus include:
National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): Alpha Phi Alpha (Kappa Chi), Alpha Kappa Alpha (Iota Xi), Delta Sigma Theta (Xi Omicron), Iota Phi Theta, Omega Psi Phi (Lambda Lambda), Phi Beta Sigma (Pi Chi), Sigma Gamma Rho (Xi), Zeta Phi Beta (Xi Nu)
The University has had four presidents to date: Dr. Walter Douglas Smith (1969 to 1983), Dr. Thomas C. Stanton (1983 to 1994), Dr. Lee A. Vickers (1994 to 1999), and Dr. Luther Fred Carter, the current president.
- Kellie Rasberry, radio host of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning
- Tommy Mourounas- Florence County, South Carolina Magistrate
- Alan Wilson- Attorney General of South Carolina
- Yancey McGill- Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina
- Nicholas Santanna - Police Lieutenant and Public Information Officer
- Bree Boyce- Miss South Carolina
- Mark L. Walberg- Television Host
- Baron R. Davis, Ph.D.- Superintendent Richland School District Two
- Ruben L. Freeman (aka Big Rube) - award-winning radio host of The Big Rube and Sctonda Morning Show
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Francis Marion University - News: 2000: FMU alumna Kellie Rasberry to co-host "Live with Regis"". Retrieved 23 September 2014.