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Smith, George Washington (1855-1945) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Smith, George Washington (1855-1945)

Historical Note: George Washington Smith was a history professor at Southern Illinois Normal University from 1890 to 1935, and was Professor Emeritus from 1935 until his death in 1945.  He was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from Blackburn College in 1893.  After serving for 7 years as a training teacher in SINU’s model school, he was made head of the Department of History and Geography.  In 1894 he became Secretary of Faculty, and in 1923 became Secondary Examiner and Adviser for first-year students.  As the university grew under the presidency of William Henry Shryock (1913-1935), Smith chaired a committee that revised the university’s curriculum.  However, no significant changes came from this initiative as many SINU faculty and staff resisted what was viewed as drastic change.  Prior to his tenure at SINU, Smith was employed for 12 years in Illinois public schools as a teacher, principal, and city superintendent in White Hall, Illinois.

Southern Illinois University Alumni Association. Quarter Centennial Anniversary Souvenir of the Southern Illinois State Normal University.  Carbondale, IL: Carbondale Free Press, 1899.

Lentz, Eli G. 75 Years in Retrospect: Southern Illinois University, 1874-1949.  Carbondale, IL: University Editorial Board, Southern Illinois University, 1955.

Plochmann, George K.  The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University.  Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1959.

Note Author: Matt Gorzalski

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