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FMU to dedicate new nursing building Aug. 15

    FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University will dedicate its new Dr. Frank B. Lee Nursing Building Tuesday, Aug. 15.

    The event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include tours of the building. A ceremony will be held in the building’s main foyer, where a plaque of Dr. Lee will be unveiled.

    The 30,000-square-foot facility is located on the north side of the campus pond. The Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation donated $5.5 million toward construction of the approximately $8 million building.

    “This new nursing building is a tremendous resource for our students, as well as the community,” said FMU president Fred Carter. “The facility boasts state-of-the art classrooms, labs and equipment that will be used to educate nurses to serve the Pee Dee. The building also allows for continued expansion of our nursing program.”

    “This building stands as a testament to the generosity of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, which provided the bulk of the funding,” added Carter. “We are also indebted to the local medical community for their support, especially Carolinas Hospital System and McLeod Health.”

    The building has primarily brick exterior with precast accents to match other buildings on campus. The structure also includes a 135-seat auditorium, a computer lab with distance-learning capability, two seminar rooms, two conference rooms, and faculty and administrative office space. In addition, the building has a clinical care lab area with 16 patient care stations and three special needs procedural teaching areas. Classroom space includes two tiered classrooms with a seating capacity of 56 students each, and two tiered classrooms with a seating capacity of 64 students each.

    Formerly a satellite program of the Medical University of South Carolina, the stand-alone FMU nursing program has been in the process of expanding to provide more baccalaureate-degree prepared nurses. The program will increase the number of nursing majors this year by 50 percent, from 32 to 48.

    The building is named for Dr. Frank B. Lee, chairman of the board of trustees of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation. 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.

    An auditorium in the nursing building is named for Dr. John M. Thomason, a longtime Florence physician. Dr. Thomason has served as vice chairman of the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation board since its inception in 1995.

    The building’s clinical laboratory is named in memory of the late Elizabeth Williamson Barnes, a distinguished nurse practitioner and educator who was vice president of nursing for the Bruce Hospital System upon her death in 1990. 

    The computer lab is named in memory of Janie Fields Bruce, a McBee native who worked as an office nurse, hospital nurse, and surgical nurse at Bruce Hospital beginning in 1945. She became director of nurses, a position she held for 26 years until her retirement in 1972. She died in 1979.

#15 / 8-11-06
Last Published: January 3, 2007 3:36 PM
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