Eugene Smith, former A-State president, dead at 88

Eugene Smith, former A-State president, dead at 88
Eugene W. Smith (Source: Arkansas State University)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Arkansas State University announced Monday the death of former president Dr. Eugene W. Smith.

Smith, who was the university’s eighth president, died Sunday at the age of 88 following a lengthy illness, according to an A-State news release.

During his eight-year presidency, Smith is credit with leading the school “through one of its greatest eras of growth and development.”

He established A-State’s first doctor degree program, oversaw construction of the First National Bank Arena and the expansion of the Dean B. Ellis Library.

“Gene Smith loved Arkansas State University immensely and put his heart, soul and talents into its growth and success through the years,” said Dr. Chuck Welch, president of the ASU System.

The family requests those wishing to leave lasting memorials consider the Smith Fellowship Endowment, c/o Arkansas State University Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 1990, State University, AR 72467, so that his legacy of education may continue.

A memorial service will be at 5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro, preceded by visitation from 3:30 p.m. until time of service.

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