FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University officially begins its 32nd year with the start of fall 2001 classes this month.
FMU president Fred Carter will welcome faculty back to campus with a breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, in the Ervin Dining Hall.
Student housing opens Sunday, Aug. 19. Students who have not yet attended an orientation session will be able to do so at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, in the Ervin Dining Hall on campus. Students will also be able to meet with their advisers for open registration and pay their fees on Aug. 20.
A new student organization fair will be held that same day in the Smith University Center from 1 to 4 p.m. The fair will introduce new students to many of the organizations, clubs, departments and activities available to them at FMU. On Tuesday, Aug. 21, a “Welcome Week” picnic for students, faculty and staff will be held at 4 p.m. on the front lawn of the Smith University Center. The event will feature live music and a chance for new students to meet with current students, faculty and staff in a fun environment.
The first day of fall classes is Wednesday, Aug. 22. Late registration and drop/add will be held Aug. 22-24, 27 and 28. It’s still not too late to register. Any student interested in taking classes should contact the FMU Admissions Office at 843-661-1231 as soon as possible.
The fall semester will bring continued physical improvements to the campus. At about the same time classes begin, the university’s new recreational swimming pool will be open for students, faculty and staff. The approximately 2,000-square-foot pool was supplied by an anonymous donor and is located behind the Hyman Fine Arts Center, near the outdoor volleyball courts and student housing.
Visitors to the Smith University Center will notice a new basketball floor in the gymnasium. The Rezill Channel model floor will cover approximately 14,000 square feet and replaces the tartan floor that was installed when the building opened in 1974. The new cushioned hardwood floor continues the renovation of the gymnasium. Last year, the gym was painted and a new lighting system and scoreboards were installed.
This fall, residents in five of the university’s 14 apartment buildings will have access to the Internet. Each bedroom in the five apartment buildings will have a connection installed for access to the Internet through students’ personal computers. FMU plans to install connections in more apartments next year. All residence hall rooms were wired in 2000.
In June, the FMU Board of Trustees raised tuition and fees 6 percent. Effective with the fall semester, tuition for full-time South Carolina residents will increase $105 per semester, going from $1,750 to $1,855 per term or from $3,500 to $3,710 per year. Even with the fee increase, the cost to attend Francis Marion University is the second-lowest of South Carolina’s state colleges and universities.
Francis Marion kicked off its first capital campaign 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.
Also this summer, FMU signed an exchange agreement with the Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Under the agreement, up to three FMU students will study at the Universidad Internacional and the same number of UI students will study at Francis Marion. The first exchange between the two schools is scheduled for the spring of 2002. The agreement also allows for the exchange of faculty members.
One of the major campus events of the fall will take place Saturday, Sept. 29, when FMU hosts the ninth-annual Pee Dee International Festival. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. This year’s festival will feature the Chinese Acrobat and Stunt Troupe, as well as other entertainment and activities, cultural displays, events for children, and food from around the world.
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