FLORENCE---Francis Marion University kicked off its first capital campaign Tuesday (June 12) to raise $12 million over the next five years.
Called the “Campaign for Excellence,” the fund-raising drive is being conducted through the FMU Foundation, which was founded in 1974 to create an endowment fund that would support the mission of the university.
FMU President Fred Carter called the campaign critical for the university’s future in light of proposed state budget cuts.
“Although the state provides us with 45 percent of our operating expenses, FMU has always relied upon developing our own resources in educating the sons and daughters of the Pee Dee,” said Carter. “As we embark upon the first capital campaign in our history, we will ask only for what this university requires to serve the educational needs of the Pee Dee region. We hope our supporters will give generously to help us meet our needs and secure the future of this wonderful institution.”
Ashpy P. Lowrimore of Florence, regional president of Branch Banking and Trust Corp., will be chairman of the 12–member campaign steering committee. Florence physician Sompong Kraikit, who is chairman of the FMU Foundation board of directors, will serve as vice chairman.
“I’m struck by this unique opportunity to leave an indelible imprint on Francis Marion University and the Pee Dee region that will last in perpetuity,” said Lowrimore. “This university contributes to the academic, economic, civic and cultural life of our region’s communities. Clearly, education in the broadest sense is the key to our economic development and well-being, and we must ensure the continued growth and prosperity of Francis Marion University.”
The campaign steering committee will work closely with the Foundation’s Board of Directors and university officials in seeking gifts from alumni, individuals, foundations, businesses and corporations throughout the state and region. All gifts to the FMU Foundation are tax deductible.
During the silent phase of the campaign, which has been under way for about 18 months, more than $5 million in leadership gifts have already been raised, including $3.5 million in the last 11 months.
Major leadership gifts have come from one anonymous donor and 12 others: the Doctors Bruce and Lee Foundation, Austin Gilbert, Peter D. Hyman Trust, Manning Malloy Estate, Dr. Sompong and Suwanee Kraikit, Dr. Robert W. Moore, Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, Terry and Gail Ness Richardson, Santee Electric Cooperative, SCANA, SMS Management Services and Chris Yahnis.
Carter credited the work of executive director Robert N. Sawyer and the Foundation board with getting the campaign off to a successful start. Sawyer, who was the Foundation’s first full-time director, will retire at the end of June. He will be replaced by T. Graham Edwards, who will oversee the completion of the campaign that now enters its public phase.
Campaign categories, which are related to critical needs of the university, and goals are as follows:
• Unrestricted Endowment, $2.5 million
• Endowed Scholarships, $1.5 million
• Capital Improvements, $1.5 million
• Instructional Laboratories, $1.45 million
• Center for the Child, $1 million
• Faculty Development, $1 million
• Endowed Faculty Chairs, $1 million
• Innovative Instructional Programs, $1 million
• James A. Rogers Library, $500,000
• Annual Fund, $400,000
• Swamp Fox Club, $150,000
Donors who make gifts of substantial value will have naming opportunities for university facilities or programs. Gifts may be in the form of cash, securities, real or tangible personal property or through testamentary plans such as trusts and life insurance. Pledges or contributions may be made over a period of years convenient to the donor.
Other members of the Capital Campaign Steering Committee are A. Lee Chandler of Darlington, Gail Ness Richardson of Barnwell, Tom Smith Jr. of Pamplico, Richard N. Chapman, Ron Chatham, T. Graham Edwards, Emerson Gower, Ken Jackson, Robert W. Williams Jr. and Frank Willis, all of Florence. For more information, contact the FMU Foundation office at 843-661-1481.
#218 / 6-12-01