Duke Energy donates $50,000 to Francis
Marion ecology center project

Duke Energy has made a $50,000 donation to the Francis Marion University Educational Foundation.

The funds will go towards the university’s planned freshwater ecology center.

The center will support research and teaching in FMU’s natural sciences, particularly biology and chemistry.

Fred Carter, president of FMU, says Duke’s contribution paves the way for a significant addition to the University’s educational infrastructure.

“Duke Energy is once again stepping forward to enhance educational opportunities in the Pee Dee and beyond,” says Carter.

“There are so many possibilities associated with the new freshwater ecology center. It’s exciting for our faculty, our current students and to potential students interested in careers connected to the environment and natural resources.

“We’re indebted to Duke Energy for its continuing support.”

Mindy Taylor, government and community relations manager for Duke Energy, says investments like this make sense for Duke and for the communities it serves.

“It’s important for Duke Energy to invest in projects that support the protection of the environment and provide communities with much-needed resources to promote good stewardship of the natural beauty around us,” says Taylor. “By supporting the organizations like FMU that do this great work, we can help protect, restore and enhance natural resources, and provide valuable educational opportunities to nature lovers of all ages.”

The new ecology center and laboratory, and an accompanying conference center, will be built on a recently donated 146-acre parcel just north of FMU’s main campus.

The parcel includes a 20-acre freshwater lake.

The conference center will be available to the public for special events.

Thanks to support from the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation, and a state appropriation brought to fruition by the Florence County legislative delegation, led by Sen. Hugh Leatherman, the construction cost for both the ecology center and the conference center is in hand. Construction is expected to begin next year.

Duke’s donation will help FMU fund additional programmatic aspects of the center.

Duke Energy is a long-term supporter of the sciences at FMU.

Duke contributions through the years have helped FMU expand facilities and grow programs in nuclear physics, engineering and biology.

Author: Rachel Howell

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