FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University presented its 2006-2007 alumni awards at an Alumni Appreciation Dinner, Feb. 1.
The Outstanding Alumnus is Terry Alexander. A native of Florence, Alexander earned a bachelor of general studies from Francis Marion in 1991. In November 2006, Alexander was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives, District 59 seat. In this position, he serves as a member of the medical, military, and public and municipal affairs committees. He is a career development consultant and managing partner of Sunrise of the Pee Dee and serves as pastor of Wayside Chapel Baptist Church in Florence. In addition, Alexander is an adjunct professor of religion for Limestone College.
Alexander has an extensive history of community involvement and public service. Before being elected to the House, he served on Florence County Council from 1990-2006, where he was chairman in 2002 and 2004. In addition, he worked for former Congressman Robin Tallon. Alexander has held numerous leadership positions in the Pee Dee and served as president of the Florence branch of the NAACP, the Boys and Girls Club of Florence and Habitat for Humanity. His professional and civic affiliations include membership in the Florence Breakfast Rotary Club, Francis Marion Society, 100 Black Men of the Pee Dee, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross, National Association of County Officials, National Association of Black County Officials, S.C. Association of Black County Officials, S.C. Association of Guidance Counselors and the S.C. Alliance of Black Educators. He has served on the boards of the Boy Scouts of the Pee Dee and Mercy Medicine.
In addition to his education at FMU, Alexander earned the master of divinity from the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, D.C., in 1998. He is married to Starlee Davis Alexander, and they have two children, Terrell McClain and Matthew.
This year’s winner of the Benjamin Wall Ingram III Young Alumnus Award is Ricky Cox. Cox earned the bachelor of business administration in management in 1998. A cum laude graduate, Cox returned to FMU and earned an M.B.A. in December 1999. He is also a 2002 graduate of the National Commercial Lending School of the American Bankers Association and a 2005 graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, La. Cox currently serves as the vice president and city executive for the Florence region of First Reliance Bank.
In addition to banking, Cox is active in several community organizations, including Kiwanis and Leadership Florence 2005-2006. He also serves on the board of trustees for the Garden City Chapel and Retreat Center. Cox volunteers with the Pee Dee Area Big Brothers organization and is an active member of the Church at Sandhurst in Florence. He is married to Virginia Cox, and they have two children, Caleb and Gracyn.
The Alumni Volunteer of the Year is Paul Seward. Seward earned a bachelor of arts in history in 1994 and is currently pursuing an M.B.A. at FMU. Seward is also a distinguished graduate of the Wake Forest/BB&T Banking School and has served as the vice president of commercial lending at BB&T for the past four years.
As an alumni volunteer, Seward plays an integral role at Student Alumni Association meetings as a speaker, mentor and supporter of all FMU students.
In addition, Seward is a member of the Alumni Board of Directors, where he chairs the student relations committee. He serves on the Alumni Foundation’s golf committee for the Chairman's Golf Classic, and he can be seen on campus at both alumni and student events.
Seward also serves on the Florence County Board of Disabilities and is a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church, where he serves on the financial oversight committee. He is married to fellow FMU alum Debbie Young Seward, and the couple has two children, Olivia and Jack.