Congressman Tom Rice and long-time university employee Rannie Gamble will receive honorary degrees at Francis Marion University’s fall commencement on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Rice will also be the commencement speaker.

FMU expects to confer degrees to more than 300 graduates at the commencement. It begins at 10 a.m. in the Smith University Center on the FMU campus.

Congressman Rice was elected to serve the newly formed 7th Congressional District of South Carolina in 2012. He won re-election in 2014. The 7th District, which was formed after South Carolina gained an additional congressional seat following the 2010 Census, includes Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marlboro and Marion counties.

Rice, a Republican, sits on the House Committee on the House Ways and Means Committee and on the Oversight, Social Security and Human Resources subcommittees.

Prior to winning a congressional seat, Rice served as chair of the Horry County Commission.

Rice was born in Charleston, and grew up in Myrtle Beach. He earned his master’s degree in accounting and his juris doctor from the University of South Carolina. Rice began his professional career with Deloitte & Touche’s Charlotte office. In 1985, Rice returned to Myrtle Beach to practice tax law with the Van Osdell Law Firm, and in 1997 he established his own practice, the Rice & MacDonald Law Firm. From 1994 until 2009, he was certified by the Supreme Court of South Carolina as a specialist in Tax Law, Estate Planning, and Probate Law. He’s been included in Best Lawyers in America since 2006.

Gamble, the administrative manager/senior administrative associate for the FMU Provost’s Office, has been a fixture at Francis Marion University. She has served the university for more than 32 years. Gamble manages the general operations of the Provost’s Office, working very closely with department chairs, deans, faculty and students. She also oversees preparations for commencement exercises, distinguished faculty recognitions and other annual campus events. She is retiring in December.

Gamble earned the John J. Kispert Leadership Award in 2014 and the Outstanding Staff Service Award in 2000 from FMU. She attended Florence-Darlington Technical College and FMU.