Francis Marion University is proud of the rich cultural complexity of its campus which is personified by its unique demographics. The student body is uncommon amongst American colleges and universities in that no single race is in the majority and the black and white populations are, in a typical year, roughly even in size. FMU’s diversity is especially appealing in that is an almost exact match for the region it calls home.
This did not happen by accident. Francis Marion has long viewed cultural diversity as a value to be sought and celebrate. To that end the university sponsors numerous programs and initiatives designed to encourage diversity, both on campus and in the community it serves. And it remains committed in all its endeavors to inclusiveness, equity, and justice for all.
FMU Initiatives and Programs
African American Faculty & Staff Coalition
The AAFSC at FMU is structured to create an atmosphere of community for FMU African American faculty, staff and students; to serve as a liaison between the administrative personnel of FMU and the African American faculty and staff; and to examine the university’s efforts in recruitment and retention of African American faculty and staff to play a vital role in contributing to the educational growth of minority students.
African & African American Studies
The African and African American Studies (AAAS) program at Francis Marion University is designed to offer students an interdisciplinary and multifaceted approach to the study of people of African descent and their experiences in Africa, America, and the rest of the African Diaspora. Through a minor or collateral and through extra-curricular offerings, the program allows students of all backgrounds to broaden their knowledge of the history and cultures of people of African descent, hone their skills of analysis and expression, and cultivate an ethic of human equality and social justice.
AAFSC Diversity Award
The AAFSC diversity award, given annually by the coalition, highlights the work of individuals who are dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusiveness at FMU and beyond. Organizers noted Brauss’ commitment to encouraging inclusivity, especially within the FMU student body.
FMU’s latest community initiative is “Cultural Conversations,” a series of lunchtime presentations on topics related to race, diversity, and inclusion. The conversations are open to both the campus community and the Pee Dee community at large.
FMU - Universities Studying Slavery
The University’s Studying Slavery consortium represents a multi-institutional collaboration focused on sharing best practices and guiding principles about truth-telling projects addressing racialized human bondage and racism in institutional histories. Francis Marion University joined USS in September 2021, making it the seventh South Carolina university to join the consortium.
Hewn Timber Cabins
FMU maintains two historic, hewn timber cabins on its campus. The cabins, which date to the mid-19th century, were the living quarters for slaves, and later, for sharecroppers. They are a part of the legacy of the land, and part of the region’s historical heritage as well. The cabins were relocated a short distance from their original locations on the Wallace Gregg farm to their current setting on Wallace Woods Drive after the founding of FMU. The cabins are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tours of the cabins are available by appointment.
FMU hosts an annual Martin Luther King Day celebration, on or around MLK Day in January, in collaboration with the Florence Chamber of Commerce and other community partners. The event typically features a candlelight march and a program featuring music and a special speaker. It is a highlight of the various MLK Day observances in the Pee Dee.
Young Gifted and Blessed Choir
The YGB and its energetic vocal performances are an FMU tradition. The company performs on campus and at state and regional competitions. Membership is open to all students with a passion for gospel music and good times.
Francis Marion University is committed to providing a healthy living, learning and working community with an atmosphere that emphasizes the dignity and worth of all individuals within that community. Towards that end, we promote personal integrity, civility and mutual respect, and an environment that is free from sexual misconduct and discrimination.