EDITORIAL: FMU’s impact on our city is immeasurable
Where would the City of Florence be without the support, assistance, and contributions of Francis Marion University? Consider that for just a few moments.
The university bearing the name of the Revolutionary War hero celebrates its 50th year this week. From the moment FMU came into being on July 1, 1970, the impact and influence it has had on the city and the region has been truly immeasurable.
“It is an established fact, that every successful city is blessed with an active and engaged university with involved leadership that is innovative and purposeful,” states Florence City Manager Drew Griffin. “That is certainly how I feel about Francis Marion University and its President, Dr. Fred Carter. The city’s partnership with Francis Marion University has been a constant in our successes. I believe we all recognize that the Florence community would not be the regional leader it is without the university and its supportive board.”
A brief look at the city’s revitalized downtown and one can immediatly sees FMU’s contributions to the city’s growth over the last decade: The 61,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center; the Luther F. Carter Center for Health Science and the newly-opened University Place Art Gallery. All three serve as significant pieces to a thriving downtown economy.
FMU’s impact on our city goes far beyond brick and mortar. The partnerships and collaborative efforts the university has with McLeod Health and other medical institutions, the city’s public and private schools, and with Florence-Darlington Tech, have improved the quality of life in countless ways.
“Because nurses are essential to health care and the region’s economy, Florence is very fortunate to have Francis Marion University and its nursing education program,” said Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center. “Over the last 20 years, the efforts by the university to expand its nursing program to include BSN, RN to BSN, Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner has further benefitted Florence since the students often remain in the area and come to work for McLeod.”
To list all the ways Francis Marion University has contributed to the City of Florence over the last half century would be impossible. Suffice it to say, this city would not be what it is today without the unwavering support and contributions of its university.
Congratulations and thank you, Francis Marion, for all you have done for Florence in the last 50 years.