OAKLAND, Calif. — Samuel Smith, Washington State University president
emeritus, has been honored by his alma mater for “exemplary career
accomplishments” in education.
During the California Alumni Association annual awards banquet at the
Claremont Resort Hotel here on Friday evening, Oct. 20, Smith received an
“Excellence in Achievement Award.”
Presenting honors, including Excellence in Achievement Awards to Smith and
three others, was Kim Hunter, reporter for Oakland’s KTVU-TV FOX 2.
An association official said Smith’s “career accomplishments, which are
numerous, and his achievements in the field of higher education,” helped with
his selection. “We are proud to say he is an alumnus of this great university.”
Smith earned two degrees, both in plant pathology, from the University of
California, Berkeley, a bachelor’s in 1961 and a doctoral degree in 1964.
From 1985 until his retirement this summer, Smith was WSU’s president. His
background included serving on the Berkeley faculty and as agriculture dean
of Pennsylvania State University.
Smith, current chair of the National Association of State Universities and
Land-Grant Colleges Board of Directors, was cited by his nominators for
leading WSU’s growth in size and stature during his 15 years as its president.
They credited him with strengthening undergraduate and graduate education,
placing an international imprint on programs, and increasing opportunities for
women and minorities. And, they noted his efforts which established WSU
urban campuses in Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and Vancouver; learning centers
around the state; and the award-winning Extended Degree Programs.
More than one-third of all Washington State graduates — since the university’s
first commencement in 1897 — had their academic degrees granted by Smith.