April 14, 2023

An Evening with Darla Moore

An Evening with Darla Moore

An Evening With Darla Moore


Francis Marion University’s Darla Moore Scholars received a special treat when Darla Moore herself joined them for dinner and a unique question-and-answer session in February at the John G. Rae III Ecology Center.

More than 30 FMU students, all recipients of the prestigious Moore Scholarship, which is designed to help South Carolina residents attain their college goals, joined Moore, FMU President Fred Carter, and FMU faculty and staff at the event.

The Moore Scholarship is funded by a $5 million gift from the Darla Moore Foundation. Moore, and the Moore Foundation, are dedicated to enhancing the lives of citizens in South Carolina and the United States. Education has been an area of keen interest. Moore and the Foundation have donated to several South Carolina universities, and was behind the funding of the $25 million Continuum, a regional education center in Lake City.

Moore is a native of Lake City who enjoyed an ultra-successful career as a businesswoman and entrepreneur. She spends most of her time in the Pee Dee Region now.

During a lively Q&A session moderated by Dr. Carter, Moore shared wisdom culled from her long and extraordinary career in business and finance. Some highlights:

  • “Find something that you’re good at and get really, really, really good at it. If you are good at something, you’ll normally love it,” said Moore. Moore told the students that she launched her own career by following that bit of advice.
  • “Don’t take things personally and pick which battles you fight. It’s natural to want to fight them all, but you have to pick a few that you can manage and on which you will be able to follow through.”
  • “Working hard is very important. Learn everything you can about a certain area and get really, really good at it. That is the path to success.”
  • “Manage your time within certain time constraints. You must decide how much time you’re comfortable devoting to something. Allot that much time for it and don’t overextend yourself.”

Moore told the students that she started the Darla Moore Foundation because she reached a point where she had all she’d ever need and wanted to give back to others. She also reminded them that she is a philanthropist who pays attention to “the return. …. I expect everyone of you to graduate and I plan to be back in four years to see your diplomas. I expect you to accept this gift and give your best in return.”

The Darla Moore Scholarship at FMU

The Darla Moore Scholarship is funded by a generous $5 million gift from the Darla Moore Foundation, and its eponymous founder, renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist Darla Moore of Lake City.

The first group of Moore Scholars enrolled at FMU in 2022. Currently, there are more than 30 students in the program.Dr. Fred Carter, FMU’s president, says the Moore Foundation’s substantial gift “supports those who would not attend college otherwise. It helps us educate some of our neediest students. I’m deeply appreciative to Darla for this generous gift.”

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Who the Scholarship Helps

To be eligible to become a Darla Moore Scholar, students must be South Carolina residents, enrolling in full-time undergraduate studies, and demonstrate a financial need based on FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), with family income generally not exceeding $75,000.

The scholarship is primarily, but not exclusively, geared toward students who will be the first in their family to attend college.

Who’s Eligible, How To Apply

The scholarship is available to incoming freshmen. Contact FMU Admissions (Admissions@fmarion.edu) to learn more about the application process.

Once a student is a Moore Scholar, they remain eligible throughout their undergraduate career as long as they maintain a 2.7 grade point average (GPA). All tuition and housing costs are covered for Moore Scholars and recipients are required to live on campus.

What the Scholarship Covers

FMU has frozen its tuition since 2018 and hence, remains one of South Carolina’s most affordable universities. But the cost of college remains a burden for many families. The Darla Moore Scholarship covers all tuition, room and board, or school fees, depending on the individual recipient’s needs each semester.

woman smiling

About the Darla Moore Foundation

The Darla Moore Foundation was founded in 2010 by Lake City, SC philanthropist and financier Darla Moore with the mission of enhancing the lives of the residents of South Carolina and the United States.




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