Francis Marion University will award honorary degrees to the S.C. Secretary of Commerce, a technical college president and a former FMU distinguished professor during spring commencement ceremonies at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, in the Smith University Center gymnasium.
Selected to receive honorary doctoral degrees are: S.C. Secretary of Commerce Robert M. Hitt III of Columbia; Florence-Darlington Technical College President Dr. Charles Gould of Florence; and Retired Professor of English Dr. Marian Cusac Green of Marion.
Hitt will also be the commencement speaker for the 392 candidates for FMU degrees. Candidates include 357 students for undergraduate degrees and 35 for graduate diplomas.
Hitt was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to serve as Secretary of Commerce in January 2011. Prior to his appointment, he was manager of corporate affairs at the BMW Manufacturing Company in Spartanburg. In addition, he served as the director of planning and development for the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm in Columbia. Hitt worked as a managing editor for 17 years at The State and The Columbia Record newspapers.
A native of Charleston, Hitt is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and was recognized as Distinguished Journalism Alumni of the Year in 2006. In 1987, he received the prestigious Nieman Fellowship for journalists. He and his wife Gwen have two sons.
Gould, who was inaugurated as Florence-Darlington Technical College’s third president in November 1993, will retire in May. He has been in the technical college system of South Carolina for more than 30 years and has served in three of the system’s 16 technical colleges. Gould has also taught at Duke University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he was an associate managing editor of a national educational publishing company.
He earned the Ph.D. from Duke University with an emphasis in ethics and law and he received a Master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with an emphasis in the philosophy of mathematics. He recently retired from the chairman’s position with the Florence County Economic Development Partnership, which he held for more than 11 years and has served on various boards throughout the region. He and his wife of 44 years, Eleanor have two sons.
Green served at four universities, including the University of North Carolina and Mercer University, prior to coming to Francis Marion in 1977 as a professor of English.
Before her retirement in 1995, she had a profound impact as a professor of English and the coordinator of the College Life Academic Program. While teaching at FMU she was named distinguished professor, and after her retirement a residence hall was named in her honor. During her tenure she also maintained membership in eight professional organizations, was a member of three scholarly societies, and was very involved in student activities.
The Kentucky native earned the B.A. from Mary Baldwin College in 1954, the M.A. and the Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) in 1957 and 1964, respectively. Green has two children.