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CP&L Makes $160,000 Investment in FMU Campaign; Chair to be Established in Honor of Senator Leatherman

FLORENCE---CP&L and the Progress Energy Foundation have made a $160,000 investment in the Campaign for Excellence at Francis Marion University, part of which will establish an endowed faculty chair in public service named for state Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. of Florence.

 Emerson F. Gower Jr., vice president of the southern region for CP&L, a  Progress Energy Company, made the announcement March 11.  Gower is also chair of the steering committee for FMU’s Campaign for Excellence.

 “Francis Marion University is one of our region’s best assets,” said Gower.  “We at CP&L believe the economic success of our region is dependent upon the continued growth and development of the university.  Our company wants our contribution to support efforts that will directly impact students for generations to come.”

 Gower said the $160,000 gift will benefit several FMU programs.  One half of the gift will go to establish the Progress Energy Technology Center, $40,000 to endow two academic scholarships,  $25,000 to establish the lead gift for an endowed chair named for Sen. Leatherman, and $15,000 to support the Program for Young Scholars, a summer program for gifted students which has been supported by CP&L for many years.

  “The university is most grateful for financial support from corporate citizens like CP&L,” said FMU President Fred Carter.  “I am especially thankful that CP&L’s leadership has seen fit to honor Sen. Leatherman through an endowed chair.  The senator is one of this community’s biggest advocates, not only in the legislature, but through many other activities.  He also has been one of the university’s major supporters over the years, and we are pleased to recognize his many contributions in this way.”

 Carter said the chair in public service will be awarded to a senior faculty member for a three-year period to expand the individual’s community involvement.

 “In essense, this faculty member will take his or her scholarship into the community,” said Carter.  “We want this chair to rotate among faculty, therefore, we are establishing a three-year term limit.”

“As supporters of education, my wife Jean and I are very pleased and humbled by the generous donation that CP&L and the Progress Energy Foundation have made to Francis Marion University,” said Leatherman.  “We look forward to the establishment of this new chair in public service and to assisting the university in funding it.  We thank CP&L and the Progress Energy Foundation for this wonderful gift.  We know that this chair will benefit thousands of our citizens and help to educate our children.”

 Sen. Leatherman entered public service in 1967 when he was elected to the Quinby Town Council, later serving as mayor pro tempore.  He was elected to the S.C. Senate in 1981 and today is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a member of the Budget and Control Board. 

Born in Lincoln County, N.C., he earned a B.A. degree in civil engineering from N.C. State University.  In 1955, he helped found Florence Concrete Products.  Today, he is managing partner of WyBoo Investments.

 The $80,000 gift to Rogers Library will be used to establish the Progress Energy Technology Center which will expand technological resources through a state-of-the-art computer laboratory for student use.  Rogers Library is the largest library in northeastern South Carolina and is continually increasing its holdings through an array of electronic and digital resources.  Improving the technology will allow patrons from both the campus and the community to make the most of the library’s resources.      

 The $40,000 contribution will go to the university’s scholarship fund to create two new scholarships, one in mathematics education and one in science education for students wishing to become teachers in these disciplines.

 The $15,000 gift for the Program for Young Scholars, now in its sixth year, will continue funding for this summer residential program for academically talented youths between the ages of 12 and 16.  The three-week program gives academically gifted students an opportunity for intensive study, new experiences and recreational activities in a college setting. Students are enrolled in a single intensive, fast-paced class that proceeds at their ability levels. Classes are five to six hours per day, Monday through Friday, and three hours on Saturday.

#121 / 3-11-02

Last Published: April 8, 2004 7:10 AM
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