May 8, 2024

Student-Athlete graduate reflects on fulfilling journey at FMU

Cullen Dore entered Francis Marion University during the height of the pandemic in the fall of 2020, but that did not stop him from jumping in with both feet. Dore, a native of Myrtle Beach and graduate of Carolina Forest High School, committed to Francis Marion as a cross country and track and field athlete before the start of his senior season, a decision he is grateful he made.

Dore chose Francis Marion because of its proximity to his hometown, smaller class sizes, and the ability to continue his athletics career in college. He is leaving as a graduate who took advantage of every opportunity presented to him at the university. 

Entering FMU, Dore was determined to get as much from his college experience as he possibly could, and he urges those coming after him to do the same. He refers to his time at the university as a “busy, rewarding, and fulfilling four years,” and is confident that his education at FMU coupled with all of the other opportunities afforded to him by the university will ensure his success in the future.

As a student-athlete and Mass Communication – Broadcast Journalism major, Dore sought out ways to get involved as soon as he stepped foot on campus. The summa cum laude graduate became part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, worked as an intern for the Athletics Department, and served as a photographer for The Patriot, the student-run campus newspaper. 

His work on the SAAC at FMU opened doors for him he never dreamed of and greatly enhanced his college experience. In 2022, he was selected as the representative from Conference Carolinas to serve on the National SAAC committee where he was one of twenty-six representatives to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing board for athletics at most US colleges. In the National SAAC, he served as the External Communications Coordinator, a position that paired nicely with his mass communication major and one that allowed him to provide a voice for over 122,000 student-athletes in NCAA Division II athletics. In addition to his work with the National SAAC, he also served as chair of Conference Carolinas SAAC his senior year.

Not only has Dore gained invaluable experience outside of the classroom through the opportunities he had at the university, Conference Carolinas, and the NCAA, he has also earned a number of accolades inside the classroom. 

In 2021, he earned first place in the South Carolina Press Association’s Collegiate Photograph contest. He was named to the Academic All-District Team for College Sports Communicators for 2021-2023, earned the Swamp Fox Academic Award for 2022-23, and was named to Conference Carolinas Elite 23 Award list for fall 2022. He also appeared on the President’s List each semester, served as a Student Marshal beginning in fall 2021, and was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi this spring.

Francis Marion provided the perfect environment for Dore to grow and flourish as a student, an athlete, and a person.

“I will forever be indebted to Francis Marion for the incredible education it has provided me over these past four years,” says Dore. “The opportunities I’ve had to use my skills outside of the classroom would not have been possible without the support I’ve received on campus from so many professors and coaches. Many of the concepts I’ve learned in the classroom have prepared me for the roles I’ve held in SAAC and my fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha. All of the opportunities I’ve had because of FMU have made me a more well-rounded person.”

Dore will soon leave the Palmetto State for Memphis, Tennessee, where he has accepted a position with Oak Service Corporation and will serve as a Chapter Consultant for Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.