Francis Marion University is located on a 700-acre tract of land at least a portion of which was originally included in an English royal land grant. The initial 100 acres were a gift from the Walter G. and J.W. Wallace families. The University is situated adjacent to U.S. Highways 301/76, seven miles east of Florence, South Carolina. Campus facilities include:
Luther F. Carter Center for Health Science
The Carter Center is a 50,000-square foot building in downtown Florence. It houses FMU’s graduate programs in the health sciences and allied programs associated with the USC School of Medicine. It opened in the fall of 2016. Key features of the building include the Dr. Sompong Krakit Simulation Laboratory and Haigh Porter Auditorium. The building is named for Dr. Luther F. Carter, FMU's fourth president.
Wallace House (President's Home)
Rebuilt in 1924 after the original 1836 J. Eli Gregg home was destroyed by fire, this antebellum style house was the home of Joseph Wilds Wallace Sr. and Sallie Gregg Wallace. In 1960, in their memory, the Wallace family donated the house for the founding site of the University of South Carolina at Florence. Then named Wallace Hall, the structure housed classrooms and meeting space for the Florence campus. When Francis Marion University was established in 1970, the house served as a facility for administrative offices. It was renovated as a permanent residence for the president of FMU in 1983.
J. Howard Stokes Administration Building
Named for one of the founders in establishing higher education for the Pee Dee area, this was the first building to be built on the Florence Regional Campus of the University of South Carolina. It was built with funds contributed by citizens from across the Pee Dee area and transferred to the University in 1970; an addition was completed in 1990. It was last renovated in 1992-1995. The building houses administrative offices including the offices of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management, Accounting/Cashier, Administration, Auxiliary Services, Administrative Manager, Admissions, Business Affairs, Faculty Governance, Financial Assistance, Financial Services, Graduate Programs, Human Resources, Institutional Research, Orientation, Payroll, President, Provost, Public Affairs, Purchasing, and Registrar.
Office Services Building
The Office Services building, located north of Hyman Fine Arts Center, was completed in 2013. Printing and mail services are located in this facility.
Facilities Management/Campus Police Building
Opened in 1972, this building provides utility services to other buildings and houses the Campus Police and some offices of the Facilities Management Department. Campus Police provide 24-hour law enforcement services from this location.
FMU Education Foundation and Non-Profit Consortium Building
The FMU Education Foundation owns a building and four acres of land situated on Highways 301/76 across from the FMU campus (west of Highway 327). The FMU Foundation/Development Office, Alumni Affairs, Community Affairs, and several non-profit organizations including the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA) are located in this building. The Education Foundation Building also houses the University’s offices of Counseling and Testing and Student Health Services.
Walter Douglas Smith University Center
Named for the first president of FMU, this facility was occupied in 1974. The complex provides comprehensive facilities for student activities and services including the offices of Student Affairs, Athletics, Dean of Students, Student Life, Student Newspaper, Campus Recreation Services, Career Development, Multicultural Student Affairs, and Army ROTC. It also provides space for meetings, social activities, recreation and athletic programs (including a 2,547-seat gymnasium, racquetball courts, weight/fitness rooms, game room, and swimming pool), and the Patriot Bookstore.
Edward S. Ervin, III Dining Hall
Named for a former chairman of the Board of Trustees for Francis Marion University, this facility was occupied in 1986. The Dining Hall, renovated in the summer of 2011, serves students, faculty, and staff of the University as well as community groups. The facility includes a main dining area and two rooms (Palmetto Room and Hendrick Dining Room) available for meeting space and/or catered events. Also located in Ervin Dining Hall is Provisions On Demand (P.O.D.) which reinvents the campus store experience by blending the features of “corner store” quick convenience with modern market style and service. P.O.D. offers a variety of fresh food and produce, delicious prepared meals and everyday essentials that deliver quality, selection and value.
John K. Cauthen Educational Media Center
Named for the late pioneer of educational television in South Carolina, Cauthen opened in 1977. The building contains facilities for the production and presentation of audiovisual materials as well as a Resource Area that houses the non-print resources of the University (DVD, VHS movies, CD and audio cassettes, media kits, etc.), support for instructional technology, and a public computer lab. It also provides classroom and office space for the mass communication, modern languages, psychology programs and the School of Education. The James “Ed” Dooley Planetarium, the Ashpy Lowrimore Auditorium, and the J.R. Bryan Jackson Innovation Place (a computer lab equipped with teaching and multimedia instructional technology) are also in the building.
Named in honor of those whose efforts and energies led to the founding of the University, this building was occupied in 1974. The building houses offices and classrooms for many of the University's academic programs including English, geography, history, philosophy and religious studies, political science, sociology, and the School of Business. The Writing Center is also located in this building.
Peter D. Hyman Fine Arts Center
Named for a community leader who was instrumental in the founding of the institution and who was the first chairman of the Francis Marion University Board of Trustees, this facility was occupied in November 1980. It houses the John W. Baker Art and Music Wing and includes faculty offices for the Department of Fine Arts, classrooms, and studios for teaching art, art education, theatre, and music. The south wing includes the Adele Kassab Recital Hall and the University Theatre, which has a working stage and the capability for quick changes from a proscenium to a thrust stage. The Hyman Fine Arts Center houses public art galleries which display exhibitions of art in a variety of media by fine arts students as well as local, regional, and national artists.
Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Science Facility
Named for Senator Hugh K. Leatherman Sr., who for many years has been a state senator from Florence County and member emeritus of the University’s Board of Trustees, this facility was completed in 1994. It provides office, classroom and laboratory space for biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. A greenhouse is located on the rooftop and is used as a laboratory by the Biology Department. The Campus Tutoring Center is also located in this building.
Robert E. McNair Science Building
Named for the former Governor of South Carolina who played a significant role in making the University possible, this structure was occupied in 1972. This building provides classroom, laboratory, and office space for biology, chemistry, and physics. It also houses the McNair Center for Government and History. The auditorium was renovated and renamed for Provost Richard N. Chapman in 2007. Also due to generous gifts from Progress Energy, the nuclear physics lab was renovated in 2012.
Frank B. Lee Nursing Building
Named for the chairman of the board of trustees of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, the local philanthropic foundation which largely funded the building’s construction, this facility opened for the fall 2006 semester. This two-story facility is located on the north side of the campus pond and houses offices, classrooms, the Elizabeth W. Barnes Clinical Laboratory, a computer lab, three seminar/conference rooms, and the Dr. John M. Thomason Auditorium for the Nursing program.
Built in 1982, this two-story, pre-cast concrete structure has a 12-foot rotating dome. Permanently mounted in the dome is a 14-inch reflecting telescope. A variety of other telescopes are also housed at the Observatory. The first floor houses a small classroom-orientation area with a large screen TV for viewing images from an electronic eyepiece. Located on the second-floor observatory deck are six mounts for 8-inch reflecting telescopes. Free public viewing sessions are held periodically to examine the planets, stars, and special astronomical events such as comets and eclipses.
James A. Rogers Library
Named for the first chair of the State College Board of Trustees, the library opened in December 1971. The building was expanded in 1988 by adding a wing named for the first director of the library, J. Mitchell Reames. The library houses a collection of over 398,000 volumes and over 550 print journal subscriptions and provides access to 35,000 e-journals, over 343,000 e-books, and 142 electronic databases providing access to information from almost anywhere. Membership in PASCAL, the statewide academic library consortium provides access to millions of articles and to a statewide virtual library at over 12.5 million volumes. The library seats 475, contains 77,000 square feet, and is open 85.5 hours a week.
Thomas C. Stanton Academic Computer Center
Named for the second president of Francis Marion University, this facility was occupied in 1988.The building provides computer classrooms and a 30-station general-use computer laboratory. It also houses a number of offices for the Campus Technology group.
Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center
The FMU PAC opened in 2011 and is located in downtown Florence. Its main elements include an 849-seat main auditorium with a fly tower and orchestra shell, a 100-seat experimental theater, and an academic wing with classrooms, offices, and rehearsal spaces for the Department of Fine Arts Music Industry degree.
The surrounding grounds include the 500-seat BB&T Amphitheatre and the Beverly Hazelwood and Starr Ward Garden Courtyard. FMU’s Music Industry program, a division of the Department of Fine arts, is housed at the PAC along with resident performing companies (the Florence Symphony Orchestra, Masterworks Choir, South Carolina Dance Theatre) and Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation. The PAC is home to a variety of cultural and civic events throughout the year, including performances by university groups, resident companies and special performances developed by the University staff. Spaces are also available for rent. More information is available on the Perfoming Arts Center's website.
Francis Marion University Recording Studio
This state of the art facility, occupied in 2014, utilizes both classic analog and modern digital equipment. The studio is focused around a fully loaded ProTools 11 HD rig with an Avid C24 console and ADAM A7 monitoring. There is a full complement of industry standard microphones from AKG, Sennheiser, Rode, Audio Technica, Neumann, and many others. Classic analog preamps are provided by Neve, API, Universal Audio, and Audient. The studio features two isolation booths and a great room large enough to handle ensembles of any size.
Opened in the Fall of 2006, this one-story building is located adjacent to the outdoor swimming pool. The facility provides an additional dining option with indoor and outdoor seating available and convenient access to the outdoor pool and sand volleyball court.
Hanson Park was established in 2005. Named for longtime psychology faculty member and administrator Gary Hanson, this park is located between The Cottage and the President's House and provides a quiet, garden-like atmosphere for faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Hewn Timber Cabins
African Americans were brought to the farm of J. Eli Gregg in 1836 to raise cotton, but they also had to construct the farm buildings as well as cabins for their own housing. Eight cabins, two of which remain, were built beside a sandy road in a cotton field. The road ran parallel to what is now Francis Marion Road, just east of the center of campus, and extended from what is now Stokes Administration Building to the Smith University Center. After emancipation, most of the cabins were moved to scattered locations on the farm and small additions made. The cabins remained occupied until approximately 1953. These remaining two cabins are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and have been preserved, moved to their present location on Wallace Woods Road, just off of Highway 301/76, and permanently reside there to honor the heritage and contributions of those who occupied them.
Pee Dee Education Center
The Pee Dee Education Center is a consortium of 16 school districts, Coker College, and Francis Marion University, established to provide support for the school districts in the region.
Gail and Terry Richardson Center for the Child
Named in honor of Gail Ness Richardson, a longtime member of the Board of Trustees for Francis Marion University, and Terry E. Richardson Jr., a Barnwell attorney, this facility was occupied in 2008. The Center houses a child care program, FMU classrooms, a developmental clinic, research facilities and community programs.
The Village Apartments, the first student housing on campus, originally consisted of 10 apartment buildings occupied in the fall of 1980. The Village currently consists of 12 two-story apartment buildings and a one-story apartment and can house approximately 386 residents. The apartment buildings named Anderson, Baxter, Dalton, Ervin, Ferguson, Gallingten, Henderson, Johnston, Logan, and Moultrie consist of eight apartments designed to accommodate four persons each in individual bedrooms with a common living room, kitchen, and bath. The Ingram and Kidwell apartment buildings consist of 16 apartments designed to accommodate two persons, each sharing a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath. Half of the single-story Newton building is an apartment for two persons, each sharing a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath. The other half serves as an Emergency Medical Transport (EMT) station serving the campus and the surrounding area.
The University has two sets of residence halls. Each set consists of three residence halls linked to each other by exterior breezeways: one set (built in 1986) Marion State, Palmetto, and Swamp Fox forms a courtyard with the Edward S. Ervin III Dining Hall. The other set Belle Isle, Snow Island, and Ellen C. Watson (built in 1992) forms a courtyard with the Allard A. Allston Housing Office Complex, which was built at the same time. Residence halls provide housing for approximately 700 residents. Each residence hall suite consists of two bedrooms (two students share a bedroom) with an adjoining bath shared by all four residents living in the suite. First-floor residence hall units are available with provisions for persons with disabilities. A Resident Assistant is assigned to each residence hall floor to provide support for students.
Allard A. Allston Housing Office Complex
Named for a longtime member of the Board of Trustees for Francis Marion University, this facility was built in 1992 along with one of the two sets of residence halls. The complex provides space for the Office of Housing and Residence Life as well as a study hall.
Heyward Community Center
Named for Dr. Joseph E. Heyward who served the University as Vice President of Student Affairs and as interim Provost, this facility was built in 2004 and is available to all students. This building consists of a large common lounge for social functions and meetings, a smaller meeting/study area, a fitness room, a laundry facility, and an enclosed mail pickup area.
Forest Villas Apartment Complex
The Forest Villas Apartments were constructed in two phases; Phase I was completed and occupied in the fall of 2004 with completion and occupancy of Phase II following in the fall of 2007. The apartment buildings are named Allen Hall, Beaty Hall, Cusac Hall, King Hall, and Thigpen Hall. The five three-story buildings consist of 103 four-bedroom apartment units, five two-bedroom units and five one-bedroom units, capable of housing approximately 427 residents. Each apartment includes single bedrooms. Four-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments feature shared living, dining and kitchen facilities. Four-bedroom units include two full bathrooms. Apartment units are available with provisions for persons with disabilities.
BB&T/Amelia Wallace Faculty/Alumni Cottage
The Cottage, completed in 2003, is a faculty/alumni facility and guest house. The facility is named for BB&T, a major benefactor, and Amelia Wallace, whose family donated Wallace House and the first 100 acres of the land on which the University is located. Lunch is served daily, Monday through Friday (unless otherwise announced), for faculty, staff, alumni, and guests.
R. Gerald Griffin Athletic Complex
Named for the long-time athletic director and baseball coach, the Griffin Athletic Complex was completed in the Spring of 2012. Located across the street (SC Highway 327) from the FMU campus and adjacent to the Education Foundation Building, the complex includes Clifford S. Cormell (baseball) Field at Sparrow Stadium, Murray G. Hartzler (soccer) Field, the FMU Softball Stadium, Marion L. “Spyder” Webb Plaza, Lake (“W”) Coleman, and a field house with office space and locker rooms.
John Kassab Courts
Renovated in 2003 with a new entranceway, playing surface, fencing and landscaping, this facility consists of eight tennis courts, four of which are lighted. It is named in honor of one whose leadership was a contributing factor to the establishment of the University.
Exterior athletic-recreational facilities on the main campus include two natural grass intramural fields, an outdoor recreational pool, soccer field, softball field, and baseball field.