FLORENCE – Francis Marion University Assistant Professor of History Louis E. Venters of Hemingway has become the second recipient of the FMU African-American Faculty and Staff Coalition (AAFSC) Diversity Award. The award seeks to recognize a faculty or staff member for their significant contributions to enhance the university’s diversity and inclusiveness.
“Professor Venters was well deserving of this honor,” said Yvonne Davis, chair of the AAFSC. “The intellectual interchange that is essential to a university requires, and is enriched by, the presence and voices of diverse scholars like him,”
Venters joined the faculty at FMU in 2007 as an assistant professor of history and a Francis Marion Trail Commission lecturer. He earned the B.A. in history and modern languages from Winthrop University and the M.A. in history from the University of South Carolina. He was awarded the Ph.D. in history from the University of South Carolina.
His doctoral dissertation examined the Bahá’í Faith as an interracial movement in Jim Crow-era South Carolina, and he is a co-author of "African Americans in Camden, South Carolina" (2006), an award-winning public history study. He is particularly interested in the history of race, religion, and social change in the United States, as well as issues of rural and urban planning and the intersection of cultural and environmental stewardship. A Pee Dee native, he has lived and traveled extensively in Africa, Central America, and Europe.
Recipients of the FMU African-American Faculty and Staff Coalition Diversity Award are people who routinely and voluntarily make diversity and inclusion a priority in much of what they do or people whose major responsibilities are implementing gender diversity and inclusion initiatives, but consistently explore ways to go above and beyond expectations.
The award was presented to Venters at the 10th Annual Banquet of the AAFSC. The speaker for this event was Sen. Kent Williams, representing District 30.