FLORENCE – A $100,000 gift from the PSARAS Foundation to Francis Marion University will be used to create an endowed chair in leadership.
FMU President Luther F. Carter requested that the FMU Foundation designate the James Konduros Endowed Chair in Leadership a permanent award to be occupied by the university provost and that FMU Provost Richard Chapman be the inaugural chair holder.
“The Foundation's gift will duly honor the exceptional talents of one of the hardest working and most dedicated provosts in the state – Dr. Richard Chapman,” Carter told university trustees at a recent board meeting.
This chair honors the leadership legacy of Konduros, chairman of the PSARAS Foundation board of directors, who recently announced his retirement.
“Over the years, Jim Konduros and the PSARAS Foundation have been loyal and generous supporters of Francis Marion University. Jim has always been attuned to the needs of our students and faculty, and visionary about the ways that scholarly inquiry can improve the quality of life in this state,” said Carter. “This endowment is a fitting tribute to his dedication and service to South Carolina and its citizenry.”
A native of Anderson, Konduros is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where he earned a law degree in 1954. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, he joined the staff of the late U.S. Senator Olin D. Johnson as legislative assistant in 1961. Upon leaving the senator’s office, he served three years on IBM’s regional staff in Washington, D.C. Returning to South Carolina in 1966, he served under Gov. McNair as the first director of the state’s Appalachian program. In 1967, the governor appointed him as executive assistant, responsible for the coordination of state and federal programs in the executive agencies of state government.
In 1971, Konduros became a founding member of the McNair Law Firm. Konduros has received the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest recognition for distinguished public service. He also served on the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, representing Congressional District 2. Konduros was founding director and chairman of the board of directors of the PSARAS Foundation and the PSARAS Fund, respectively. He served on the board of the Learning Channel and the American Community Service Network.
The grant to establish the Konduros Chair at FMU is part of a $2 million gift from the PSARAS Foundation that will be used to create a donor advised fund. The funds will be administered by the FMU Foundation which will distribute grants during the next 10 years.