FLORENCE---Luther F. (Fred) Carter will be installed as the fourth president of Francis Marion University in a ceremony Friday, Aug. 27.
Scheduled at 2:30 p.m. in Smith University Center Gymnasium, the inauguration will feature greetings from the governor and several other dignitaries from state government as well as other agencies and organizations. The ceremony is open to the public.
Harry M. Lightsey Jr., former president of the College of Charleston, will be the featured speaker. Dr. Carter was a member of the faculty and served as an administrator with Dr. Lightsey at the College of Charleston.
A native of Columbia, Dr. Lightsey is currently an attorney with the McNair Law Firm in Columbia. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Clemson University in 1952, a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia in 1956 and a juris doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 1961.
Dr. Lightsey began his career as a veterinarian in Allendale, but switched to law in the early 1960s and served as assistant attorney general of South Carolina from 1962 to 1967. He has been a partner with two law firms, served as general counsel for the S.C. Public Service Commission and was legal adviser to the president of the S.C. Senate, S.C. Senate Finance Committee and Senate Banking & Insurance Committee.
He taught at the USC School of Law for 15 years before serving as dean for six years, 1980 to 1986. He was named president at the College of Charleston in 1986 and served until 1992, before resuming the practice of law with the McNair firm. He holds the title president emeritus of the College of Charleston.
Author of six books, he also is a member of the S. C. Commission on Higher Education. He holds the following honorary degrees: Doctor of Laws, Limestone College, 1991; Doctor of Human Letters, Winthrop College, 1992; Doctor of Philosophy, University of Charleston, 1992; Doctor of Laws, College of Charleston, 1993; Doctor of Laws, Clemson University, 1994.
Dr. Lightsey is a member of the board of trustees of Belle W. Baruch Foundation and president of South Carolinians Society. He served as chairman of the S.C. Democratic Party from 1970 to 1972.
Presiding over the ceremony will be FMU trustees Robert Lee and Jay Courie and chair of the faculty Gary Hanson. Former FMU presidents Thomas C. Stanton and Walter D. Smith are also part of the program.
South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges will bring greetings on behalf of the state. State Senator Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. will represent the S.C. General Assembly. Chief Justice-elect Jean Toal will speak on behalf of the S.C. judicial branch. William Moran, president of Lander University and a former vice president of academic affairs at FMU, will speak on behalf of all South Carolina university presidents, and Cathy Novinger will represent the S.C. Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education.
Alumni president James Spears will bring greetings from the 12,000 FMU alumni, and Kenneth W. Jackson will represent the FMU Foundation. Mayor Frank Willis will bring greetings from the City of Florence, while Thomas E. Smith will represent Florence County.
Lee and Hanson will conduct the investiture of the president, followed by remarks from Carter. A reception will follow the ceremony in the commons area of Smith University Center.
This ceremony is just one of a number events to be held during the first week of the fall semester to mark the beginning of Carter’s tenure as the university’s president. Courie and Hanson co-chaired an inaugural committee made up of campus and community leaders that planned the activities and raised private funds to pay for them.
One of the fund-raisers is a presidential gala scheduled from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Wallace House, which serves as campus home of FMU’s president. Tickets are $25 per person.
A new student convocation is planned for 2:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in McNair Auditorium. An outdoor picnic for students, faculty and alumni is scheduled Wednesday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. between Smith Center and McNair Science Building.
For more information about inauguration festivities, contact the FMU Advancement Office at 661-1225.