FLORENCE---The Francis Marion University Foundation plans to honor long-time faculty member Neal D. Thigpen by creating an endowed chair in his name.
The announcement of the fund-raising campaign was made at a campus reception Thursday evening, July 18.
The Neal D. Thigpen Chair in Public Affairs will be awarded to a senior faculty member in the Department of Political Science and Geography. When fully funded, this $100,000 endowment remains secure in perpetuity and only the earnings derived from the invested funds will be used for the recipient to pursue research and scholarly activities and to transmit the fruits of these efforts to FMU students.
“This chair will serve as a means for the university to recognize the long and distinguished career of Neal Thigpen,” said FMU President Fred Carter. “As a department chairman for 24 years, he built one of the stronger and more collegial political science programs in South Carolina. I am personally proud to be a part of that department’s faculty.”
Thigpen came to FMU in 1971 and has distinguished himself as an educator, political analyst and community leader. He served as chairman of FMU’s political science program from 1971 to 1996 and still serves as a professor of political science.
He holds a doctorate in public administration and American government from the University of Maryland. He earned a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from the same institution.
Author of numerous articles on American politics, Thigpen frequently speaks before business and political organizations. He is active in state and local politics and has served as a delegate to the S.C. Republican Convention numerous times and the National Republican Convention five times.
He is married to Patsy S. Stone, and they reside in Florence.
Tax deductible donations to the Thigpen Chair can be made through the FMU Foundation, P.O. Box 100547, Florence, SC 29501; telephone 843-661-1481.
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