FLORENCE – Francis Marion University President Fred Carter and chairman of the PSARAS Foundation James S. Konduros today announced that the Foundation is donating $500,000 to FMU to fund an initiative in memory of Gov. Robert E. McNair.
The gift – which was announced at a press conference – will be used for the creation of the Robert E. McNair Center for Government and History aimed at providing a setting where diverse energies of academic, research and outreach initiatives come together for purposeful collaborations.
“I am pleased to represent the PSARAS Foundation’s Board of Directors and delighted that our organization is partnering with Francis Marion University on such a historic occasion,” Konduros said. “The McNair Center fulfills a vision that Gov. McNair had for this state. I believe this gift will institutionalize his legacy.”
The two-pronged initiative will consist of (1) a McNair Scholars Program, a privately endowed scholarship project designed to bring to campus a new cadre of motivated young scholars committed to public service and community leadership; and (2) a campus based research and service institute that will host the McNair Scholars and other related programs presently offered by the university.
“With its focus on teaching, research and outreach, the center will provide linkage between academic and community initiatives and provide a platform for future innovative projects, all consistent with the foresight and dreams of Bob McNair,” Carter said. “We are profoundly grateful to the PSARAS Foundation for partnering with us on this endeavor that will pay tribute to an extraordinary leader and allows his legacy to have an ongoing impact on this institution and the region we serve.”
FMU’s Non-Profit Leadership Institute, a yearlong program for executives in non-profit organizations around the state, will be part of the Center, as well as the Rural Area Leadership Institute, a series of capacity-building projects in Pee Dee counties. Also included will be the university’s International Program, which offers education exchange programs for FMU and overseas students, and the university’s Model UN activity.
Francis Marion University, founded in 1970, is one of South Carolina's 13 state-supported universities. As one of the state's six comprehensive institutions, FMU prides itself on providing a strong liberal arts education for its 4,000 students.
The PSARAS Foundation is a South Carolina non-profit organization primarily engaged in supporting education and community services within the state of South Carolina.
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