NEA fetes retired professor Walter L. Smith

 Posted on March 12, 2009


March 12, 2009



 Posted on March 12, 2009

Walter Smith

Walter Smith

The National Education Association has announced it will honor Walter L. Smith, a former professor and graduate coordinator in educational administration and policy, for educational activities “contributing to international understanding and motivating youth to work for world peace.”

Smith will receive the NEA’s prestigious 2009 Applegate-Dorros Peace and International Understanding Award July 2 at the association’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly in San Diego.

He was a member of the UF education faculty from 1995-2000, and his community college expertise provided a valuable contribution to the Institute of Higher Education. He now lives in Tampa, where he bought a building in his old neighborhood and turned it into a library for neighborhood children.

Smith has a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University and a doctorate from Florida State. In 1971, he was an African-American Institute Scholar to West Africa where he studied African culture and history .Early in his professional career, he worked for the U.S. government, helping develop the federal programs for school desegregation. He also worked at Kennedy Space Center, developing a technical education curriculum for engineering assistants on the Saturn V program.

He went on to become provost of Hillsborough Community College and president of Roxbury Community College in Massachusetts before serving as president of FAMU from 1977 to 1985. Smith then became a senior Fulbright scholar to the University of Malawi in southeast Africa. He also traveled to South Africa to help that nation establish a community college system and served as a monitor for one of South Africa’s first post-apartheid elections.Smith has worked with several other nations in the development of educational programs and was a United Nations delegate to the 1982 G-77 Conference for developing countries.

Upon his retirement from UF in 2000, colleagues and former students funded the creation of the Walter L. Smith Scholarship in his honor to support minority graduate students in educational administration.

#          #          #

Writer Larry Lansford,, 352-392-0726, ext. 266