FLORENCE---A grand opening is scheduled Friday, Sept. 12, for the BB&T/Amelia Wallace Faculty-Alumni Cottage on the campus of Francis Marion University.
The newly constructed 4,000-square-foot facility, to be known as the Cottage, will serve as a gathering place for FMU faculty, staff, alumni, and guests.
Built with private funds, the $600,000 facility will open with a late afternoon ceremony for specially invited donors, alumni, faculty and staff. The ribbon-cutting will be led by Charlene Wages, chair of the FMU faculty, and Cathy Lee, president of the Alumni Association.
“Thanks to the generous donors who made this facility a reality, the Cottage becomes a focal point for our faculty and alumni programs and events,” said FMU President Fred Carter.
“This facility will be the perfect place for the FMU family and others to gather and sustain lifelong relationships with the university,” he said. “As with many FMU facilities, the Cottage also will be available for use by the community at large.”
Surrounded by trees, flowers and shrubbery, the Cottage is a quiet haven located between the Stokes Administration Building and the Stanton Academic Computer Center. The Cottage is a beautifully landscaped, modern facility with Southern lowcountry charm that preserves the heritage of the original house that was located on the property.
Operated by the FMU Foundation as a benefit to Francis Marion University, the facility is named in honor of BB&T, a major benefactor, and Amelia Wallace, whose family donated the first 100 acres of land on which the university is located.
Built as part of the university’s Campaign for Excellence, the Cottage has a large meeting/dining room that accommodates approximately 60 people, a smaller meeting/dining room that seats 12 people, a hospitality suite that opens to a library, a kitchen for preparing meals and two guest bedrooms with private baths. There is also an exterior patio and garden area, with a fountain and grill, for hosting outdoor functions. All facilities are accessible to the physically impaired.
Gilbert Construction of Florence was the general contractor, and Key Collins Architecture of Florence did the design work.
The hospitality suite, open to Alumni Association members, faculty, staff, FMU retirees and guests, will be open Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. with bar and grill service available. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. unless precluded by special events. On special occasions, dinner may be served with reservations required.
The Cottage has the perfect tranquil setting and ambiance for special events including meetings, conferences, training sessions, special luncheons or dinners and receptions.
The Cottage is available for use by faculty, staff and alumni or others with FMU affiliation. The Cottage also may be leased by individuals, organizations or corporate entities for special events as availability permits. Reservations must be made at least seven days in advance of an event.
Rental fees have been established for use of the entire facility or for lease of a single meeting room. Space may be reserved for the entire day, one-half day or by the hour. Rental rates are available from the FMU Foundation Office.
Dues-paying members of the FMU Alumni Association, faculty and staff will receive a discount on the rental of the Cottage.
The two large guest suites, both with queen-sized beds and private baths, are available for overnight accommodations for FMU faculty, staff, alumni and trustees, as well as guests of the university. The suites are nicely furnished for the comfort of guests.
Sodexho Campus Services, the university’s dining service provider, will handle catering for all special events held at the Cottage.
For more information about use and rental of the Cottage, please contact the FMU Foundation Office, 101G Stokes Administration Building, Francis Marion University, phone 843-661-1481, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
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