FMU building named after President Dr. Fred Carter -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

FMU building named after President Dr. Fred Carter

(Source: Francis Marion University) (Source: Francis Marion University)

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - President Dr. Fred Carter received a big honor and big surprise Thursday at the FMU Board of Trustees meeting. Trustees surprised Carter naming a new building after him. 

At the regularly scheduled meeting, Trustees unanimously approved naming the university’s new healthcare education building in downtown Florence the Luther F. Carter Center for Health Sciences. The 51,000-square foot, state-of-the-art instructional building is scheduled to open next fall, according to FMU.

The honor caught the Carter off guard. He’d expected the trustees to approve a resolution naming facilities within the Carter Center for long-time FMU supporters W. Haigh Porter and Dr. Sompong Kraikit. The trustees did that, but in a surprise move amended the resolution to name the entire facility for Carter.

George McIntyre, the chairman of the board of trustees, said the decision to honor Carter, FMU’s president since 1999, was much deserved.

“I think the trustees all agree that FMU has ascended to levels we only dreamed about in the early years of the institution,” said McIntyre. “Yes, it’s been a great team effort, but it all starts with leadership and vision at the top and President Carter has provided that. This is a most appropriate recognition of his commitment and service to this institution, and to the state.”

Carter called the honor humbling.

“Wow! Just didn’t see that one coming,” said Carter. “It is an incredible honor, especially coming from a collection of people for whom I have such great respect.”

The auditorium in the Center for Health Sciences will be named for Porter, the former Florence mayor, one of the most-esteemed attorneys in the community and the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation’s grant chairman. The center’s medical simulation lab will be named for Kraikit, a retired nephrologist who has been among FMU’s most generous donors.

“These are two men who have served this community with honor and distinction for decades,” said Carter. “It’s very appropriate that their name will be linked in perpetuity to a building that will play a prominent role in enhancing healthcare for people throughout this region and the state.”

The Carter Center will be home to FMU’s masters-level Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator programs, its Clinical Psychology master’s program, its new Physician Assistant program, and third- and fourth-year students from the University of South Carolina.

Franis Marion University said in a press release, In addition to being FMU’s president, Carter also serves as chairman of the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health.

At Thursday’s meeting, the trustee’s also approved a resolution endorsing the addition of a Master’s Degree program in Speech Pathology, and the establishment of a School of Health Sciences. 

Most of FMU’s existing health care education programs are currently in the College of Liberal Arts. This move will place those programs under a separate dean, and create a third distinct school at FMU, alongside the School of Business and the School of Education.

A dean for School of Health Sciences will be named in the near future.

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