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FMU Nursing Building To Be Named In Honor of Florence's Frank B. Lee

         PINOPOLIS---The Francis Marion University Board of Trustees has approved the naming of the new nursing building that is under construction on campus in honor of long-time Florence physician Frank B. Lee.

          The trustees approved the resolution to honor Dr. Lee during a board meeting at their annual retreat at Santee Cooper’s Wampee Conference Center here Monday (Aug. 15).

          The university will name the 30,000-square-foot facility the Frank Barnwell Lee Nursing Building.  Dr. Lee is chairman of the board of trustees of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation. 

          “Dr. Lee has been an avid proponent of the FMU nursing program, and the university wishes to acknowledge his distinguished medical career and his philanthropic work through the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation by naming this facility in his honor,” said FMU president Fred Carter.

          A native of Scranton, Dr. Lee practiced medicine in Florence for more than 50 years.  He is a 1939 graduate of the University of South Carolina and earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1942.  He was a medical officer with the U.S. Army 88th Division in Italy during World War II.

          The Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation donated $5.5 million toward construction of the $7.5 million nursing building.  Located in Florence, the Foundation was established in 1995 upon the sale of Carolinas Hospital System.  This medical system was the result of the merger of two community-based hospitals, Bruce Hospital System and Florence General Hospital, which were the consummation of the energies, creativity and dedication of Dr. John L. Bruce, Dr. Lamar Lee and Dr. Frank B. Lee.

          Carter also asked the board’s executive committee to endorse a request to be presented at the trustees’ November meeting to name the main auditorium in the nursing building in honor of Dr. John M. Thomason, son-in-law of Dr. Bruce.  A native of Olanta, Dr. Thomason, a distinguished Florence physician for 34 years until his retirement in 2000, has served as vice chairman of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation since 1995.

          The FMU nursing facility is being built just north of the campus pond and adjacent to the McNair Science Building.  The two-story building will contain all classrooms, patient care labs and support spaces needed for an expanded nursing program at FMU. 

          In a report on campus development, Carter told the trustees that more than $50 million in capital improvements will have been made to the FMU campus between the years 2000 and 2010.  Already completed is a $9.9 million campus housing project, a $650,000 faculty/alumni cottage, a $450,000 renovation of Lowrimore Auditorium, a $1.3 million purchase of a 109-acre tract across the street from campus, and several other renovation and equipment upgrade projects.

          Major forthcoming projects include the nursing building, a $1.25 million student activity center, a $13 million academic building to house the business and education programs, a $6 million renovation of Founders Hall, a $6-7 million addition that will add 200 more beds to campus housing, and a $ 2 million center for the child.

          Carter said that upon completion of these projects by 2010, he expects the university to be debt free. He added that the university is now looking at issues that will sustain planning over the next 15-20 years.

          Provost Richard Chapman reported that the university is taking a hard look at adding undergraduate degrees in non-profit management and music, as well as a graduate degree in applied biology. Feasibility studies for these programs have been completed and are being evaluated.                

          Chapman also reported that this fall’s freshman class is expected to top 800 students. Total fall enrollment is projected to increase by more than 200 students.

          In other business, the FMU trustees established the committee structure for the coming year and established future meeting dates of Nov. 11, Feb. 3, 2006, and June 2, 2006.

#14 / 8-15-05

Last Published: February 23, 2007 9:20 AM
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