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from Arkansas State University

For Release: Feb. 2, 2003
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Calvin Smith named first Presidential
Distinguished Professor at ASU

Dr. Calvin Smith, downloadable photo)

Dr. C. Calvin Smith has been named Presidential Distinguished Professor of Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University. Smith is the first person to Dr. C. Calvin Smith (right click to "save as" jpg image)be appointed to the new position, but he is a veteran member of the ASU faculty.

The announcement was made today (Sunday, Feb. 2) by Dr. Les Wyatt, president of ASU, during a Fowler Center reception celebrating the opening of Black History Month.

"For more than 30 years, his students and colleagues at Arkansas State University have benefited from Dr. C. Calvin Smithís teaching, research and writing," according to Dr. Wyatt. "Now a new generation of Ph.D. students will continue to learn from one of the universityís truly distinguished faculty members."

In his new role, Smith will be closely involved in the young Ph.D. program in heritage studies. He will teach at least two courses per year, advise students in the program, and serve on some candidacy and dissertation committees.

He is on research appointment this spring, then will teach a graduate seminar in African American Studies during the first summer semester. In the fall, he will lead a graduate research seminar in African American Studies.

The historian also will present at least one public lecture annually related to his ongoing research or other appropriate topics.

During his 32-year faculty career, Smith taught in the Department of History. He formally retired last spring, but agreed to accept the first appointment to the distinguished professorship. A special selection committee recommends its choice to the president of the university.

Among the many highlights of his faculty career, Smith wrote the book "War and Wartime Changes: The Transformation of Arkansas, 1940-1945," published by the University of Arkansas Press.

In retirement, he has continued to conduct research and write. He has completed a book manuscript about developments in Arkansas during more than a century, and the UA Press has agreed to publish this book, as well. The title is "The Unfolding History of Black Public School Administrators."

A native of Marianna in Lee County, Smith earned his bachelorís degree at what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He completed his masterís at ASU and began serving on faculty here while working toward his Ph.D., which he earned at the University of Arkansas.

He and his wife, Earline, have a son, C. C., who is a teacher and coach in the Jonesboro School District.

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