FMU board OKs mechanical engineering program, Turner Park

November 16, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. – On a day when a new mechanical engineering program approved, the Francis Marion University Board of Trustees also approved dedicating a new park on campus in the memory of 2005 alumna Farrah Turner, an investigator with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office who died 19 days after she was shot in an Oct. 3 ambush.

Turner Park will be located in the middle of the Forest Villa Apartments.

The park will be finished by mid-to-late January, and there will be a dedication of the park during the next board meeting, which will take place in February, according to Francis Marion University President Fred Carter.

“Naming something on a university’s campus is substantial,” Carter said. “It’s significant. It’s important. I think our board considered this deliberately. You saw the vote today; it was unanimous and enthusiastically.”

During the meeting, Carter said Turner was a well-loved student during her time at Francis Marion, and she worked in the community and at Francis Marion from time to time.

“We knew two Farrahs,” Carter said. “We knew her as a student, and then Farrah came back as an investigator and worked with us on select cases from time to time.”

The park will include a water feature, a sitting area and foliage between the apartments.

The board also approved the bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering.

Carter said the university hopefully will begin accepting students into the program by January 2020 after receiving state approval of the program.

When looking at adding engineering programs, the university gauged the need across the Pee Dee and selected programs based on those needs, Carter said.

Carter said the university hopes to add electrical engineering as the third engineering program at the university after the first mechanical engineering class graduates, which will be in 2024 or 2025.

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