FLORENCE---Community friends and supporters of Francis Marion University paid tribute to outgoing president Lee A. Vickers and his wife Deanna during a campus reception Tuesday evening (April 6).
Vickers served as president of FMU for the last five years. Vickers is leaving FMU this week for North Dakota where he will assume the presidency of Dickinson State University.
During the reception, it was announced that a chair has been established in honor of President Vickers and a scholarship has been established in honor of his wife, Deanna, “as symbols of their dedication to their pursuit of academic excellence and scholastic achievement.”
Robert Williams of Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, Inc., and treasurer of FMU Foundation, Fred DuBard of DuBard Inc. and William W. Coleman, a member of FMU’s Board of Trustees, led a community fund-raising drive that generated more than $60,000 to endow the chair and scholarship in honor of the Vickers couple.
Williams read a resolution honoring the Vickers couple during the announcement of the chair and scholarship. The resolution cited Dr. Vickers for his “superior leadership and management” in elevating the university’s academic programs, for creating “greater scholarship opportunities for students by dramatically increasing fundraising,” for instituting “greater collaboration and involvement of the university in the corporate world, the public schools and the communities of the Pee Dee region, and for being a “progressive and visionary leader, manager, administrator and scholar in the greater Florence community.”
Williams said Lee and Deanna Vickers made significant sacrifices for the betterment of Francis Marion University and in service to the people of South Carolina. He said Mrs. Vickers graciously assisted Dr. Vickers in their role as the university’s first family. He said that the many friends and supporters of FMU are “forever grateful for the many good deeds bestowed upon this university by this loving couple.”
Other farewell gifts to the Vickers couple included a wooden chair from the FMU Alumni Association, a wall clock from the FMU Foundation, and Waterford crystal wine decanter, glasses and a silver tray from the FMU Board of Trustees. Provost Joe Heyward presented a framed rendering of the campus on behalf of the university’s administrative cabinet.