The Francis Marion University Education Foundation was organized in 1974 to provide a means for soliciting and accepting substantial gifts of money or property in order to build an endowment fund that would promote the educational purpose and welfare of Francis Marion University.

Since its establishment, the Foundation has enabled the University to meet a number of diverse needs that would be impossible to meet with state funds. Its primary focus has been to provide scholarship support for students. In addition, the Foundation has assisted faculty members by granting funds for professional development and sponsored various lecture series and cultural events.

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation is governed by an independent 35 member volunteer board of directors, with additional honorary and ex-officio directors, including the president of the university and other key administrators. Through its board and committee structure, the Foundation gives friends and alumni a personal involvement in the fundraising and asset management program.

Foundation & Development Address
The Francis Marion University Foundation is located in the Education Foundation Building at 121 South Evander, Florence, SC 29506. The Education Foundation Building property is just to the west of the main campus entrance. It is located in the same building as Counseling and Testing.

Ways to Give

Gifts of Cash

Many gifts made to the Education Foundation are in the form of cash. This is a particularly convenient method for end-of-the-year giving. Make sure that the check and envelope, if mailed, are dated or postmarked by December 31 if you wish to take advantage of the tax benefits within that calendar year. This will assure the gift is deductible in that year, although it may not be received until the following year.


Rather than making a cash gift, you may wish to pledge your contribution over a number of years. Please check with the  Education Foundation for more information.


A gift of appreciated securities brings the donor greater tax savings than gifts of cash. You avoid paying capital gains on the increased value of the stock. You receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the stock when the gift is made. In order to do this, your stock generally must have been held long-term (more than one year).

Real Estate

A gift of real estate provides considerable savings in capital gains tax due upon the sale of appreciated property. At the same time you receive a charitable deduction for the full market value of the property subject to the limitations described under the Securities section.

Life Insurance

The cash-surrendered value of a life insurance policy is immediately tax deductible. By designating the Education Foundation as both the owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy, premiums are tax deductible to the donor. This is an easy way to provide a sizable gift.

Matching Gifts

Many employers have corporate matching gift programs. You can double-sometimes triple- your gift through matching gift programs. Check with your company’s personnel or human resource office about their matching gift program.

Honorary and Memorial Gifts

A gift in memory or in honor of a professor, student, alumnus, or friend is special way to recognize a person’s life and accomplishments. When an honorary or memorial gift is received, the Education Foundation notifies the honoree or next of kin and the gift is administered as the contributor specifies. Please provide the Education Foundation with the name and addresses of those you would like notified.

Split-Interest Charitable Trusts and Annuities

A donor’s property of virtually any description may be used to establish a charitable trust or annuity. With a charitable lead trust, the FMU Education Foundation receives the income for a period selected by the donor, after which the trust corpus is returned to the donor or this family. With a charitable remainder trust, the donated asset could be sold without incurring the capital gains tax and the donor would receive the trust’s income for his lifetime. Upon his death, the assets would pass to the FMU Education Foundation.

Bequests by Will

The Education Foundation can be named as a beneficiary in Wills to receive specific gifts of funds or property, or can be named as a residual beneficiary, or the donor’s Will may set up a split-interest trust for the joint benefit of the Education Foundation and the donor’s family, of the nature described above. Because of its taxable nature, it is particularly advantageous to name the Education Foundation as a beneficiary of one’s IRA.

Gift Categories

Francis Marion Society
Pee Dee Society
Founders Club
Crescent Society
Leadership Club
President’s Club
Century Club

Annual Fund

You have the opportunity to impact the University in a significant and powerful way through your support of the FM Annual Fund.  When you give, your gift will be combined with gifts from other alumni, parents, and friends. Your participation does even more than provide opportunities to students; it also shows your desire to see the University advance. Every gift, no matter how large or small, makes a difference.

Gifts to the FM Annual Fund support student scholarships, instructional technology, library acquisitions, and faculty development.

Your gift support designated for the FM Annual Fund continues Francis Marion University’s vision of building an institution committed to quality education at affordable costs. And the success of our fundraising campaign is a testament to the commitment of our alumni, parents, friends, corporations, and foundations.

Ask if your employer will match your gift. Many companies will match employee gifts made to educational institutions, making the impact of your gift even more significant.

Benefits of Giving:

When you make a contribution, you will receive:
-invitations to special events;
-subscriptions to the Francis Marion View magazine and other publications;
-recognition in the annual Honor Roll of Donors; and,
-the joy of knowing that you are supporting and making a difference at Francis Marion University


Francis Marion University and the Francis Marion University Foundation express their sincere appreciation to all of the individuals, businesses, and organizations that have contributed funds for scholarships.  Through this generosity, the best and brightest students may be recruited and retained, and students with financial need may receive assistance.

Institutional Scholarships are made available in varying amounts to students through the generosity and outstanding community commitment of businesses, individuals, and organizations including the Francis Marion University Foundation, the FMU Fund, and the Swamp Fox Club. Through these gifts, students receive needed scholarships and financial assistance.

Unless otherwise noted, full-time enrollment is required to receive a scholarship. Written applications are due by March 1 annually for most scholarships for continuing students.  Freshman scholarship deadlines vary from year to year. The Admissions Office awards freshman scholarships to students who have outstanding academic records, standardized test scores, and who demonstrate evidence of exemplary leadership in high school.

Scholarship amounts vary.

Students interested in Institutional Scholarships are also encouraged to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For scholarship purposes, the FAFSA is used as a financial statement and not to determine need per the Federal student assistance definition.

Annual Scholarships

Register of Annually Funded Scholarships

Annually funded scholarships provide an important source of funds for academically-talented students and students with financial need. Scholarships are made available in varying amounts to students through the generosity and outstanding community commitment of businesses, individuals, and organizations. Donors make a year-by-year commitment to provide these scholarships.

Endowed Scholarships

Register of Endowed Scholarships

Endowed scholarships provide a permanent source of financial assistance to deserving students. Through the endowment process, scholarship funds continue to grow over the years, thereby assisting future students in perpetuity. Scholarships are endowed through the Francis Marion University Foundation.


The BB&T/Amelia Wallace Faculty/Alumni Cottage is a 4,000-square-foot facility that serves as a gathering place for Francis Marion University faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. Set amidst the oaks, crepe myrtles, dogwoods and azaleas characteristic of the FMU campus, The Cottage is a quiet haven located between the Stokes Administration Building and the Stanton Academic Computer Center.

Constructed in 2003 with private donations, The Cottage is a beautifully landscaped, modern facility with Southern low country charm that preserves the heritage of the original house that was located on the property. Operated by the FMU Foundation as a benefit to Francis Marion University, the facility is named in honor of BB&T, a major benefactor, and Amelia Wallace, whose family donated the first 100 acres of land on which the university is located.

Serving as a focal point for faculty and alumni programs and events, The Cottage is available for use by faculty, staff and alumni or others with FMU affiliation. The perfect tranquil setting and ambiance for meetings, conferences, training sessions, special luncheons or dinners and receptions, The Cottage also may be leased by individuals and organizations as availability permits.

For more information about use and rental of The Cottage, please contact the Cottage at 843-661-1380 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Reservations must be made at least seven days in advance of an event.

Space reservations must be made in writing, by e-mail, fax or mail, with the name, address and phone number of the person making the reservation. Send to:

Ann Kelly
FMU Education Foundation
121 South Evander
Florence, SC 29506
Phone: 843-661-1295 | Fax: 843-661-1293

The FMU Education Foundation reserves the right to deny further use of The Cottage to any person or organization not complying with its policies and procedures.

Aramark, the university’s dining service provider, handles catering for all special events. Outside caterers are not allowed. In addition to catered meals, Aramark can provide refreshments and beverage service for meetings or receptions.
A bartender is required for events that utilize alcoholic beverages and will be arranged by Aramark for an additional charge. Complete menus and other catering information are available from Aramark. Catering arrangements must be made at least two weeks prior to an event by calling 843-661-1262 or emailing

General Information Concerning Renting the Cottage

Rental fees have been established for use of the entire facility or for lease of a single meeting room. Space may be reserved for the entire day, one-half day or by the hour. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted.

The rental fee is due at the signing of a lease agreement, along with a $100 damage/clean-up deposit. The deposit will be returned within 10 working days of an event, provided there is no damage and if all trash, decoration,s and rental equipment are removed appropriately.

Dues-paying members of the FMU Alumni Association, faculty and staff who wish to lease The Cottage for private functions are eligible for a discounted rate (excluding the guest rooms). Full refunds will be made on cancellations made to the FMU Foundation Office at least 48 hours prior to a scheduled event. Cancellations made after that time will be subject to forfeiture of the $100 deposit.

Based on an agreement between the university and the FMU Foundation, all university-related special events scheduled at The Cottage are covered through an annual fee paid by the university and will not require individual departmental reimbursement for rental of space (excluding the guest rooms).

For more information, please contact The Cottage Line (843) 661-1380.

Member Rates (Faculty/ Staff, Current Alumni Members)

Entire Cottage



By Room

Large Meeting/ Dining Room

Small Meeting/ Dining Room

Library and Bar

Large Meeting/ Dining Room can accommodate up to 64 people seated.

Small Meeting/ Dining Room can accommodate up to 12 people seated.

The entire facility has a standing capacity for 200 people.

All rooms include tables, chairs, and linens.

Full Day







1/2 Day







Individual and Corporate (Nonmember Rates)

Entire Cottage



By Room

Large Meeting/ Dining Room

Small Meeting/ Dining Room

Library and Bar

Full Day







1/2 Day







Guest Suites for Non-Members: $75 per night

Damage/ Clean-up Deposit: $100

Guest Suites for Members: $50 per night

Meeting Room

A smaller meeting/dining room on the south wing of The Cottage is furnished with a large conference table accommodating 12 people. The table and chairs were donated by the FMU Alumni Association.

Guest Suites

The two large guest suites, both with queen-sized poster beds and private baths, are available for overnight accommodations for FMU faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, as well as guests of the university. The suites are nicely furnished for the comfort of guests. The Pepsi Guest Suite features a classic blue and yellow decor, providing a restful and serene retreat. The other bedroom is ultra cozy with its shades of reds, golds and greens. Guest suites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. One suite is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Hendrick Room

The Hendrick Room, named in memory of FMU physics professor Lynn D. “Skip” Hendrick, accommodates about 60 people for a seated dinner or meeting. Several individual tables seat six to eight guests each. The room is equipped with an LCD projector and screen for presentations. Additional audiovisual equipment is available if needed.

Yahnis Hospitality Suite

As you enter The Cottage, the Founding Faculty Foyer welcomes you with the Yahnis Hospitality Suite to the left and the grand corridor running the length of the facility.

The grand corridor runs the length of The Cottage and is possible by private donations from faculty, staff, and friends in dedicated to the founding members of the FMU faculty, made the community. On either side of the foyer’s entrance are the Yahnis Hospitality Suite and the Powell Library.

The Yahnis Hospitality Suite, donated by Pee Dee businessman Christopher J. Yahnis in honor of his family, is open to members of the FMU community and their guests Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. The suite offers cocktails and grilled menu items for purchase. The bar is also available for special events outside these hours.

Lunch is served weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. unless precluded by special events. Occasionally, evening dinners may be offered on a reservations-only basis. All food and beverage items will be provided by Sodexho Campus Services.

The Yahnis Hospitality Suite opens into the Powell Library to combine for a casually elegant setting for cocktails and refreshments. The suite features the black and white photography of FMU graduate Walter Sallenger who is the grandson of Amelia Wallace. The focal point of the bar area is a grandfather clock donated by the sisters of Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

Powell Library

As you come in through the front entrance, the beautiful Powell Library is immediately to your right off of the grand corridor.

The Powell Library, funded by Karen Brosius and Willson Powell, is dedicated to Anne Willson Bethea Powell and Aurice Lynwood Powell. Around the gas fireplace are an overstuffed soft leather sofa and easy chair for a comfortable, inviting setting. Books in the Powell Library comprise a sampling of local history, South Caroliniana, Revolutionary Americana, and Francis Marion University imprints. The collection includes works by Pee Dee and other South Carolina authors and ranges from small but significant pamphlets to classic tomes. The volumes represent a blending of the traditional Southern plantation library with more contemporary but apropos works, including selected publications by FMU faculty members and bibliographies from the University’s James A. Rogers Library. Circulating copies of these “Cottage Use Only” titles are available for local check out from the Rogers Library.

Floor Plan

The Cottage floor plan includes the Founding Faculty Foyer, the casual Yahnis Hospitality Suite featuring a bar and grill, the large Hendrick Room which accommodates approximately 60 people for a seated dinner or conference, a smaller meeting/dining room that seats 12 people, the Powell Library, and two guest bedrooms with private baths – the Pepsi Guest Suite and a yet unnamed guest suite.  The Cottage has hardwood floors throughout and features several furnishings, light fixtures and decorative accessories from the estate of Joan Gladstone, a longtime university benefactor.

The front entrance to The Cottage can be accessed from the main campus through the Ashpy Lowrimore Memorial Garden.  The brick walkway leading to the Southern-style screened wraparound porch features engraved bricks purchased by donors.  The front porch is furnished with old-fashioned rockers.  For outdoor receptions, the back porch opens onto a large bricked patio with fountain, a garden area featuring native flowers and greenery and a spacious landscaped lawn.  The Cottage is equipped with a ramp and is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Highway 301/76

From Highway 301/76 heading east, pass through the 4-way intersection at the main entrance to campus, go about 1/2 mile then turn right at Gate #6 onto Wallace Woods Road. Take a right onto Cottage Road (Access Road) which will take you into Parking Lot F. Take a right all the way around the parking lot until you reach The Cottage, which will be the white building on your left.


Highway 327

Turn right at traffic light onto Highway 327 (Francis Marion Road) and left at Gate 2. Park in Lot E (directly ahead) and follow brick sidewalk to The Cottage.



Darryl Bridges

Vice President for Development
Executive Director, FMU Foundation

Phone: 843-661-1295

Cheri L. Richardson

Phone: 843-661-1199

Charles Harris


Office: EBF 101
Phone: 843-661-1218

C. Ann Kelly

Administrative Manager

Phone: 843-661-1295

Kathy Johnson

Coordinator of Special Events

Phone: 843-661-1225

FMU Foundation Board of Directors


Mr. Timothy F. Norwood, Sr., – Chairman
Mr. James A. Harrell – Vice Chair
Ms. Jane Huggins – Secretary/Treasurer
Mr. Frank J. “Buddy” Brand
Mr. Mark Buyck, Jr.
Mr. L. Frank Elmore
Mr. Alan L. Gibbons
Ms. Kathy Heustess
Mr. F.  “Schipp” Johnston
Ms. Christie Lucas
Mr. Hubbard W. “Donnie” McDonald, Jr.
Mr. James T. Schofield
Mr. E. Hood Temple
Mr. J. Brent Tiller
Mr. Paul Seward
Honorary and Emeritus Members
Dr. Sompong Kraikit, Honorary
Mr. William W. Coleman, Jr., Honorary
Senator Hugh K. Leatherman, Honorary
Dr. J. Lorin Mason, Jr., Emeritus
Mr. R. Weston Patterson, Emeritus
Mr. Billy Powers, Honorary
Mr. Reamer King, Honorary

Tax Status

The Francis Marion University Education Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization. Under IRS guidelines, the Education Foundation is classified as a private foundation operated for the benefit of a state university as defined in the IRS code of 1986 section 170 (B) 1 (A) (iv).
Contributions to the University through the Education Foundation are tax deductible. The Foundation exists solely to raise, receive, and manage private gifts for the advancement and benefit of Francis Marion University. The Francis Marion University Education Foundation does not receive public funds, such as state or federal grants.

Gifts to the Foundation fall into two categories: restricted and unrestricted. Most gifts are restricted to certain purposes, as agreed to by the donors, the Foundation, and the University. For example, gifts can be directed to a named scholarship, a specific academic department, or an endowed professorship. Unrestricted gifts are used for University priorities, programs, and services not supported by state funds or other sources.

For additional information, contact:
Darryl Bridges, Executive Director

Francis Marion University Education Foundation
P.O. Box 100547
Florence, SC 29502
Phone: 843-661-1295 | Fax: 843-661-1293