FLORENCE, S.C. – As the month of June comes to an end, two Francis Marion University staff members, who have been with the university since it first opened its doors in 1970, will retire. The retirees are Theresa A. Wachowski, an administrative coordinator in the Office of the Provost (Graduate Office), and Theodore C. Zuppa, a catalog librarian and associate professor in the James A. Rogers Library.
Wachowski, a graduate of McClenaghan High School, earned the A.A. degree from the University of South Carolina at Florence regional campus. While a student at USCF, she received the Clifford S. Cormell Associate’s Degree Scholastic Achievement Award.
As Francis Marion grew from the USCF campus, she served on the secretarial staff of the school’s Public Relations (Information Services) office. In the early 1980’s, she was named the assistant director of information services, later to be public relations, and then university relations. During this period, she served as adviser for the Francis Marion yearbook for 12 years, worked with the school’s on-campus mail service, and had a hand in countless FMU publications.
In 1996, she moved to the university’s downtown office at the corner of Evans and Coit Streets, and then returned to the main campus and the Office of the Provost in 1998.
“I feel very proud to have been involved with so many of the initial ‘first time’ projects at the university, in other words being a part of the foundation of Francis Marion,” Wachowski said when asked about her fondest memories at FMU. These “firsts” ranged from the school’s first catalog, diploma, and student handbook to the design of the first class ring and the first commencement.
Zuppa joined the Francis Marion staff in 1970, prior to the completion of Rogers Library. Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., he earned the B.A. degree from Baker University, the M.Ed. degree from the University of Missouri, a specialist of education in English degree from the George Peabody College for Teachers, and a master of library science degree from Rutgers University.
As Rogers Library’s first and only head of cataloging, Zuppa planned, organized, and implemented the institution’s cataloging department. Both the original card catalog and the current on-line version are evidence of his work.
“I have enjoyed watching the university develop from farmland in 1970 to the current campus,” Zuppa said. “When I came to Francis Marion, they pointed to a field and told me that’s where the library will be located. It has been a pleasure to have been part of that growth.”
During his time at Francis Marion, Zuppa served on numerous campus and library committees. He chaired several, including the Rogers Library survey committee, since its inception. Zuppa also conducted training and orientation sessions for catalog staff members from throughout the area, state, and Southeastern region. Under his leadership, FMU hosted repeated SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network) workshops for participants from throughout the region.
“Ted has established a track record here that will not be duplicated,” said Paul Dove, dean of Rogers Library. “Today, our catalog is a model of accuracy, reliability, and compliance with national standards. Ted has created this legacy and taught his colleagues its value and application to scholarship.”
Prior to coming to Florence, Zuppa was a reference librarian at the University of South Carolina’s McKissick Memorial Library in Columbia. He worked in several positions at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., during the 1960’s. After receiving his M.Ed. degree and prior to beginning his library work, he taught for five years in three Midwestern high schools.
He is a member of both the American Library Association and the South Carolina Library Association.