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Fred W. Smith papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RITArc-0074

Scope and Contents

The Fred W. Smith papers consist of documents related to Smith's time at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). A large portion of the collection is made up of correspondence. This includes a folder of correspondence between the RIT Board of Trustees and President H. W. Bush (not originals) regarding Bush's participation in RIT's commencement exercises. There is also correspondence on campus events and assorted projects.

The collection also includes copies of Smith's papers and presentations. For instance, there are copies of the papers Smith presented at the Rochester Fortnightly Club of Rochester between 1973 and 2008. There are copies of other papers written by Smith such as an article titled "Management of Student Affairs in Higher Education" from 1980.

Most of Smith's records remained in his office when he retired, but there are some administrative documents in the collection. For instance, the collection contains a proposal for a student life center and some documents related to the Rochester Board of Trustees and its activities. In addition, there is a section on the campus tiger statue that was dedicated in 1989. This includes information on the original live tiger mascot, Spirit, a proposal for the sculpture, copyright information, publicity pieces, slides depicting the sculpture's creation, fundraising information, and a DVD of the 1989 dedication ceremony.

There are also a few pieces of biographical material in the collection such as Smith's résumé and articles announcing Smith's various appointments at the college.


  • Creation: 1964-2008


Conditions Governing Access

ACCESS RESTRICTED. Please contact the RIT Archive Collections for more information.

Biographical / Historical

Fred W. Smith (1935- ) was born in New Germantown, PA on December 19, 1935. He earned his B.A. in philosophy with a minor in social studies and secondary education from Wheaton College in Illinois in 1957. After graduating, Smith began teaching junior high school while working on his master's degree. He graduated from Wheaton College again in 1959 with an M.A. in Biblical Literature.

The next year, Smith began working at Michigan State University as the Head Resident. While working on his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at Michigan State, he started working as the Assistant Dean of Students at Alma College. Smith stayed at Alma College until he earned his Ph.D. in 1969. He then accepted a position as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at Oakland University in Rochester, MI.

Smith came to the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1971. Having already served as Dean for Student Resource Services at Oakland University, he was appointed to the position of Vice President for Student Affairs for RIT. He continued in this job until 1993 when the position of Secretary of the Institute and Assistant to the President was created. As the president's assistant, Smith was responsible for cultivating relationships with RIT donors, alumni, parents, and students. He acted as the president's point person for all matters having to do with the college's Board of Trustees and helped organize events for the Nathaniel Rochester Society, Institute of Fellows, and Women's Council. Throughout his tenure at RIT, Smith was published in several journals and presented at professional conferences in the field of higher education. He was honored as the first recipient of RIT's "Four Presidents Award" for public service in 2003.

Outside of RIT, Smith was involved in the Rochester community. He served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Rochester Museum and Science Center from 1977-1979 and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Strong National Museum of Play from 1996-1998. He was also a member of the Family Service of Rochester, the Fortnightly Club of Rochester, the Gyro Club of Rochester, and the Hillcrest Investment Club. Additionally, Smith served on the Board of Trustees for his church.

Smith married JoAnne Morris with whom he had two children. He retired from the Institute in 2008.


1 Linear Feet (2 document boxes)




Papers of Fred W. Smith, a former Secretary of the Institute and Assistant to the President at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Smith worked at RIT from 1971-2008. The collection includes biographical material, copies of Smith's papers and presentations, correspondence, and administrative information for select projects.

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Fred W. Smith papers

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 09:03

The collection was a gift from Fred W. Smith, donated in 2008.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in January 2011.

Fred W. Smith papers
RIT Archives
Lara Nicosia
27 January 2011
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA