FLORENCE – Francis Marion University officially begins its 40th year with the start of fall 2009 classes this month.
In 1970, FMU opened its doors at its current location with a principal focus of providing an excellent undergraduate education in the liberal arts to South Carolinians. Over the years, the university has embraced its mission, with 95 percent of its student population from within the state.
FMU President Fred Carter will mark the start of this year by welcoming faculty back to campus at a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25, in the Ervin Dining Hall.
Student housing opens for freshmen on Saturday, Aug. 22 and for upperclassmen on Sunday, Aug. 23. Students who have not yet attended an orientation session will be able to do so at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, in Chapman Auditorium in McNair Science Building. Students will also be able to meet with their advisers for open registration and pay their fees on Aug. 24.
Throughout the week, various activities are offered for both new and returning students to celebrate the beginning of the academic year. A student organization and community fair will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 25 in the Smith University Center at 11 a.m. The fair will introduce new students to many of the organizations, clubs, departments and activities available to them at FMU and the surrounding community. On Saturday, Aug. 29, members of the FMU campus community will gather on the front lawn of the Smith University Center at 6 p.m. for “Music on the Lawn”, which provides an opportunity for new and current students to socialize.
The first day of fall classes is Wednesday, Aug. 26. Late registration and drop/add will be held Aug. 25-Sept. 1. It’s still not too late to register. Any student interested in taking classes should contact the FMU Admissions Office at 843-661-1231 as soon as possible.
The fall semester will bring a few changes on and off campus. In an effort to ensure a healthier environment for faculty, staff and students, the FMU campus is now smoke-free.
Through a partnership with the City of Florence, FMU has begun construction of a nearly $33 million performing arts center in downtown Florence. The center will contain space for theatrical and musical performances, as well as instructional classrooms, office space and exhibition areas.
FMU also announced the close of its first ever capital campaign, the Campaign For Excellence, which raised $50 million. The original goal of the fundraising effort (conducted through the FMU Foundation, which was founded in 1974 to create an endowment fund that would support the mission of the university), was $12 million.
Increased scholarship funding makes FMU financially accessible to many South Carolinians, while contemporary academic programming and facilities continue to prepare students to thrive in an ever-changing, global society.