Delores Miller in office

FMU’s Dolores Miller says the faculty, staff and students quickly caught the spirit of the place

Francis Marion University’s first staff member enjoyed some big perks on the job.

Her first office came equipped with a fireplace and an “extravagant chandelier.”

Dolores Miller, hired as the administrative assistant to Dr. Douglas Smith, FMU’s first president, recalls the small corner office in the Wallace House — the current presidential residence served as the college’s administrative center during the early years — with some fondness.

“I had a warm fireplace and an extravagant chandelier,” says Miller. “There was a ledge where my typewriter sat on while I transcribed all of my daily work.”

Deloris Miller

Miller, who still lives in Florence, remembers her first office fondly, but her memories of those first few years at FMU are even fonder. It was, says Miller, a special place, and all involved quickly caught that spirit.

“The faculty and students, I think, caught the essence for what was taking place and were tickled to be part of a college that had an opportunity to be different, and different it was,” says Miller.

Even so, Miller says no one could have known then that the university would become what it is today.

“Today (the University is) impressive, globally aware and expanding,” says Miller. “I think Dr. Carter has done a wonderful job of building and making partnerships where none existed before.”