FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Francis Marion University has decided to name its new medical education complex after Hugh and Jean Leatherman.
The board of trustees unanimously approved the naming of the new 36,000 square foot facility at their regular Thursday meeting. The Hugh and Jean Leatherman Medical Education Complex will be located in the former U.S. Post Office and federal building in downtown Florence. Once complete it will house classrooms, laboratories and office space for FMU’s expanding School of Health Sciences.
Hugh Leatherman has represented Florence in the South Carolina Senate since 1981 and currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. He has been a trustee at FMU, and a trustee emeritus since 1988.
Jean Leatherman, a real estate executive in Florence, is a long-time philanthropic supporter of education in the Florence community, including both the Florence One schools and FMU.
As part of the naming resolution, the board cited the Leathermans’ passionate advocacy of “medical, nursing, and health care education to better meet the needs of South Carolinians, especially in the Pee Dee region.” They also noted Senator Leatherman’s “effective leadership at the local, regional and state levels to develop collaborative strategies and affect creative solutions to enhance developmental growth and prosperity.”
The resolution cited Mrs. Leatherman’s work on behalf of “the citizenry through her extensive civic, community, and philanthropic efforts.”
Robert Lee, chair of the board of trustees, said the honor was well-deserved.
“Senator Leatherman has been a great friend to FMU and to the Florence community as well,” said Lee. “Honoring the Leathermans with the naming of the new medical education complex recognizes the important role they have played in the revitalization of downtown, and in this community in general.”
Dr. Fred Carter, FMU’s president, agreed.
“Hugh and Jean have been two of the University’s strongest supporters for almost four decades. But everyone should understand that their support has done more than simply sustain us — it inspires us. They understand who we are, the constituencies that we serve. They have both helped us work through the challenges we’ve faced through the years, and they are an essential part of whatever success we’ve realized.”