FLORENCE---Robert N. Sawyer, dean of the School of Education, Behavioral and Social Sciences at Francis Marion University for the last four years, has been named executive director of the FMU Foundation.
Marjorie Barrington Pace, professor of education who chairs the Department of Education, will replace Sawyer as dean of the newly renamed School of Education. She becomes the first woman to serve as an academic dean at FMU.
Both appointments were made Wednesday (Jan. 12) by FMU President Fred Carter and are effective July 1.
“In anticipation of the university’s development of a capital campaign in the near future, it is necessary that the FMU Foundation have its own leader to assume responsibilities for major fund-raising activities within the foundation itself,” said Carter.
“In addition to being an able scholar and administrator, Bob Sawyer has proven to be an extraordinary fund-raiser. He is the logical choice to assume this new responsibility, and I am delighted that he has agreed to serve the institution in this capacity.”
Carter said the selection of Marjorie Pace as dean follows the recommendation of the School of Education faculty as well as endorsements of the outgoing dean and the provost.
“Professor Pace has distinguished herself in the classroom, through her work in Pee Dee region schools and in a variety of leadership positions at Francis Marion University,” he said. “This appointment recognizes her talents as an extremely gifted and effective academician. We are indeed fortunate that she has agreed to serve the University and the public schools of this region and the state in this new and important way.“
Carter cited the effective work of both Sawyer and Pace in the university’s recent accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. Pace will oversee 22 faculty members and 308 undergraduate students and 780 graduate students enrolled in education programs.
The FMU Foundation was organized in 1974 to provide a means for soliciting and accepting substantial gifts of money or property in order to build an endowment fund to support the educational mission of the university. The foundation is governed by an independent 35-member volunteer board of directors and has $10 million in assets. Sawyer becomes the foundation’s first full-time director.
A native of Bedford, Iowa, Sawyer came to FMU in 1996 from Longwood College in Virginia where he was professor and acting dean of education and human services. He also served as president and chief executive officer of the Rural Education Foundation, also in Virginia.
He has also served in teaching and administrative capacities at the University of Missouri at Rolla, Northwestern State University in Louisiana and Duke University where he founded the Talent Identification Program (TIP) for gifted students. In 1993, he was granted emeritus status at Duke. He also has had visiting appointments at the University of Wyoming, Gonzaga University in Washington and Florida State University. He taught high school in Iowa and Missouri and has served as proposal reviewer for two foundations. He has published more than 75 articles in refereed journals.
At FMU, he founded the Program for Young Scholars (PYS), a summer residential program for academically talented youth. He is involved in the community as a member of the board of United Way of Florence County Inc. and is heavily involved in the Pee Dee Education Center and its Science South project.
Throughout his career, Sawyer has raised more than $3.5 million from individuals, foundations and corporations for a variety of projects at several institutions.
Sawyer earned a bachelor’s degree at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, a master’s at the University of Missouri at Columbia and a doctorate from the University of Wyoming.
Pace has been a member of the FMU faculty since 1985. In addition to teaching, she has headed the school’s Teacher Cadet program. She also has been a library assistant and elementary school teacher in Dillon.
She was named FMU’s Distinguished Professor for the 1996-97 year in honor of her outstanding teaching, scholarship and service to the community.
Pace attended Duke University and completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at FMU and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina.
She has served on many university committees and published numerous articles about her discipline.