- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 10, 2006

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) — Thomas Cousar Stanton, the second president of Francis Marion University, died Oct. 9 after a long illness. He was 77.

Mr. Stanton became president in 1983 of what was then known as Francis Marion College and served until 1994.

In addition to expanding the athletic program and creating an endowed faculty chairmanship, he was credited with increasing the number of minority students.

University President Fred Carter said Mr. Stanton was a close friend and colleague.

“Not only was he an extraordinary educator and administrator, but during the course of his career, he also served as an ordained minister, a career military officer and a Vietnam veteran,” Mr. Carter said. “Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to his family.”

State Sen. Hugh Leatherman, Florence Republican, called Mr. Stanton “one of the finest people I’ve ever known.”

“He’s done so much for our community,” Mr. Leatherman said. “It’s going to be a tremendous void left.”

Founded in 1970, Francis Marion University is one of South Carolina’s 14 state-supported colleges and universities, offering a liberal arts education.

Before coming to Francis Marion, Mr. Stanton was vice president for academic affairs and business professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

He also was a senior financial-management adviser to the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces.

It was at Tehran University that he began his college teaching career in an English-language master of business administration program that he developed.

In 1972, he retired as a lieutenant colonel from active duty in the Army. His military medals include the Purple Heart after being wounded in Vietnam.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sara Louise Thomas Stanton. His is survived by a son, daughter and three grandchildren.

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