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FMU has tradition of naming facilities to honor faculty, staff

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University President Fred Carter told the university’s Board of Trustees Thursday that more than 25 university buildings, other facilities or landmarks have been named in honor of faculty and staff members.

The Board of Trustees met Thursday afternoon at the university’s Freshwater Ecology Complex, which opened in January. Before the meeting, the Freshwater Ecology Center was named in honor of retired biology professor John G. Rae III.

In April, the Steven F. Gately Gallery at University Place in downtown Florence was named in honor of the longtime fine arts professor who died suddenly in late 2021.

At their June meeting, the trustees approved the naming of the university’s academic computer lab for retired staff member Teresa McDuffie. The naming ceremony for the computer lab is scheduled this fall.

“We have the finest faculty and staff in the state, and it is important to recognize the people who make this university run each and every day, across all departments. Without them, there would be no Francis Marion University,” Carter said at Thursday’s meeting.

Carter has emphasized honoring faculty and staff during his tenure as university president.

In his report to the board, Carter said university life is returning to normal after more than two years of COVID-19 pandemic protocols.

FMU students were able to explore the jungles of Ecuador, travel to the shores of Prince Edward Island, Canada and visit Civil War battlefields in Pennsylvania and Virginia this summer.

Mark Blackwell is the director of International programs at the university. The university encourages all its students to participate in the study abroad programs.

Allowing students to see the world plays an important role in a student’s education, Carter said.

Francis Marion University also is preparing for the fall semester, Carter said.

The university’s COVID-19 Response Office will remain open for the fall system. It coordinates the university’s COVID-19 procedures and monitoring.

Francis Marion University student housing will open Aug. 19. There will be several student events before fall classes begin Aug. 23.

“We are ready to start the semester and do it safely,” Carter said.

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