FLORENCE – Francis Marion University Vice President for Public and Community Affairs Libby Cooper was honored Thursday by the Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina as one of nine recipients of the Mary Dean Brewer Women of Distinction Award.
The award is presented annually to women living and working in eastern South Carolina who have demonstrated significant achievement in their fields of endeavor, made contributions affecting their local and/or broad communities and acted as positive role models for today’s young women, who will one day follow them.
The awards dinner, emceed by WBTW-Channel 13 Anchor Martha Hunn and attended by nearly 200 influential leaders in education, business, philanthropy and media, was held at the Darlington Country Club.
In her position at FMU, Cooper communicates the university’s story to its various publics – on and off campus– by establishing and increasing awareness of programs, policies, opportunities, goals and achievements. She is the key communications strategist in developing creative approaches to producing official university publications, communication with the mass media, and producing documents, speeches and other media avenues that impact the role, scope, mission, stature, image and identity of FMU. Cooper is also responsible for the university’s printing and mail functions. In addition, she manages community relations and alumni affairs. These efforts are supported by the 15 employees she manages.
As a member of the FMU staff since 1980, Cooper has held a number of positions including director of purchasing and auxiliary services. During her tenure, she has been responsible for the development and implementation of fund-raising programs, public relations programs, and alumni affairs. Cooper brings a myriad of skills and experience to the university. She is the head of FMU’s Art’s Alive Festival, one of the largest gatherings of artists in the Pee Dee which will celebrate its 32nd anniversary this year.
Cooper earned an undergraduate degree in history with a minor in secondary education from the University of South Carolina. At FMU’s May commencement, Cooper will receive an honorary doctoral degree in humanities for her dedication to the university.
Several community organizations have benefitted from Cooper’s expertise, including the United Way, Florence Regional Arts Alliance, Florence YMCA and Lighthouse Ministries.
Her professional affiliations include Phi Beta Kappa, the Florence Downtown Development Board, the Pee Dee Education Center Board, the Florence Breakfast Rotary Club and Tribute to Women and Industry.
A Mayesville native, she and her husband Steve reside in Florence.