FMU celebrates ‘golden anniversary’

Campus gathers for Homecoming activities

Rita Abuaita, Staff Writer

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FMU alumni and students joined to celebrate FMU’s 50th anniversary, also known as “The Golden Year,” at Homecoming on Saturday, Feb. 1.

There were festivities all week in preparation for homecoming, with events ranging from the Silent Disco Dance Party on Jan. 27 to the Patriot Bonfire on Jan. 30.

On Jan. 31, Homecoming Eve, FMU alumni met in downtown Florence as they reconnected with old friends at the new University Place Gallery on Dargan Street.

Homecoming morning began with tailgating in the soccer field behind the Smith University Center (UC). Alumni and students could relax and get food from multiple food trucks or grill their own food.

At 11:45 a.m., student organizations led a parade down Heyward and Alumni Drives. After the parade, the 22nd annual Swamp Fox Club Benefit Silent Auction was held in the UC gym.

The Student Government Association (SGA) Homecoming Committee worked hard to decorate and put together memories from the founding of FMU to today.

SGA Vice President Tymoshio Robinson was a big part of the Homecoming Committee. He helped plan out this year’s homecoming along with his fellow committee members.

“We knew that we wanted to choose something that would commemorate FMU’s 50th Anniversary—50 years of legacy and service to the Pee Dee Region and to the State of SC.” Robinson said.

After the FMU men’s basketball game, the winners of Homecoming Queen and King were announced. Brandon Jackson won Homecoming King and Caira Wilson won Homecoming Queen.

Wilson said she ran because she wanted to try something different. At first, she wasn’t going to run but when speaking to her peers about it, they told her to try it.

“It felt amazing to be crowned queen, I wasn’t expecting it,” Wilson said. “It was truly a blessing.”

Kendall Coward, a senior healthcare administration and biology double major and president of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA), said tailgating was her favorite part because she got to spend time with her ZTA advisors.

“Alumni and Zeta advisors came out and it was nice to fellowship with them,” Coward said. “I also really enjoyed the parade and seeing my professors. They were able to see that I was involved in things outside of the classroom.”

Many FMU athletics teams played throughout Homecoming. FMU’s women’s softball team played against the University of Mount Olive, FMU’s baseball team played against Lenoir-Rhyne University and the FMU’s women’s and men’s basketball teams played against Georgia Southwestern.

FMU concluded the weekend with a series of post-homecoming activities. On Feb. 2, the women’s softball team played against Converse College and FMU’s baseball team played against Southern Wesleyan University.