Named in honor of the university’s first president, Dr. Walter D. Smith, the Smith University Center provides comprehensive facilities for student services and activities as well as for recreation and athletic programs to serve students, faculty, and staff. Opened in 1974, the center’s gymnasium seats 2,493 for volleyball/basketball and has recently undergone several renovation projects. Improvements include new theatre-style seating on the east side, a hardwood floor, new scoreboards, a new lighting system, a new sound system, and a new paint job.
Francis Marion University is a smoke-free campus. No pets are allowed within the confines of FMU athletic facilities.
The FMU women’s volleyball team owns a 335-182 (.648)
record in the Smith University Center, including an 8-6 mark in
2010. Between 1995 and 1997, the squad won 30 consecutive
home matches, and between 1995 and 2000, won 54 of 56 home contests
(including undefeated home seasons in 1996 and 1998).
In addition to numerous sporting events, the building has hosted musical concerts, an appearance by Miss America 1994 Kimberly Aiken, U.S. Presidential candidates, and both college and high school commencement exercises. Francis Marion hosted the 1978 AIAW Division II National Women’s Basketball Tournament. FMU hosted AIAW regional volleyball tournaments in 1978 and 1981 and the Peach Belt Conference volleyball tournament in 1992, 1993, 1998, and 2006.