Section Navigation

Educational Leader Dies

BOONE — Dr. Jimmy Smith, 58, of 224 Morningside Drive in Boone died Saturday, Dec. 16, after a lengthy illness.

He was well known in the community and across the state for his work in higher education.

A professor of mathematics at Appalachian State University since 1968, Dr. Smith was a leader in both the university and the local community serving as a town councilman, chairman of Appalachian’s Department of Mathematical Sciences and president of Appalachian’s faculty senate.

“Jimmy earned the respect of his students and his colleagues through his tireless efforts and amazing energy,” said Dr. Bill Bauldry, chairman of the Department of Mathematical Sciences. “He is the yardstick that we will try to measure up to.”

Dr. Smith served his fellow faculty members on the state level as representative to the UNC System Faculty Assembly. Among the numerous awards Smith received during his career is the Annenburg Foundation Award for an Introduction to Mathematics for a course he helped

design. This fall, Dr. Smith received the university’s W.H. Plemmons Leadership Medallion, recognizing his leadership enriching the quality of student life and advancing the education of students.

“Jimmy Smith truly exemplified the spirit of Appalachian,” said Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski. “As an educator, he touched the lives of countless Appalachian students and as an administrator his guidance helped establish many programs and activities for which the university is recognized.

“As a community leader, he improved the lives of others through his service on a variety of town and county government councils and committees. He will be missed.”

Dr. Smith was active with Appalachian’s assessment program, which tests undergraduates with experience surveys and skills tests.

Dr. Smith also was instrumental in starting Appalachian’s Freshman Seminar Program, a semester-long orientation course designed for first-semester freshmen and transfers. He was instrumental in establishing the Summer Reading Program at Appalachian. He served as women’s tennis coach for two years at Appalachian.

He was a member of the American Mathematical Society, the Mathematical Association of America, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and N.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

A funeral service will be conducted Tuesday, Dec. 19, at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Boone.

Memorials may be made to the Jimmy Smith/Bill Paul Endowment for Mathematics Education, Appalachian State University Foundation, P.O. Box 32014, Boone, N.C. 28608.