Metro King Co. Council Honors WSU President Emeritus

County Council to Honor WSU President Emeritus

The Metropolitan King County Council will recognize Washington State University President Sam Smith for his
15 years of outstanding contributions to the Pacific Northwest on Monday, June 26 at 1:30 p.m. The recognition
will occur at the beginning of the regular council meeting in the 10th floor chambers of the King County
Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle.

“Sam Smith is one of the key reasons our state has become a center for higher education in the Northwest,” said
Council Chair Pete von Reichbauer. “The quality of our local college graduates is essential to our strong
economy, and a key component to our worldwide leadership in industries such as high-tech, aviation, and
natural-resource management.”

Smith has a 35-year career in education. He has enjoyed a distinguished career, first on the faculty of the
University of California at Berkeley, then at Pennsylvania State University. He served 15 years – from July 1,
1985 to June 8, 2000 – as only the eighth president in WSU’s 110-year history.

WSU, with its main campus in Pullman and urban campuses in Vancouver, the Tri-Cities and Spokane, enrolls
21,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It offers more than 150 major fields of study taught by 2,000
faculty, including many with national and international reputations. A leading research institution, WSU also
offers a nationally ranked Honors College and nationwide distance learning degrees. As the state’s land-grant
university, WSU has Cooperative Extension offices in all 39 counties. The university is a member of the Pac-10
Athletic Conference.

While Smith was president of WSU, the university grew in size and stature. Its teaching, research, and public
service activities received worldwide recognition. Smith’s presidential priorities included strengthening
undergraduate and graduate education, placing an international imprint on programs, and increasing
opportunities for women and minorities.

He is well known for establishing WSU branch campuses, distance-learning centers and the award-winning
Extended Degree Program. More than one-third of all WSU graduates – since the university’s first
commencement in 1897 – have had their academic degrees granted by Smith. His achievements include raising
more than $275 million during the university’s first comprehensive fundraising effort.

“Sam’s contributions to both the WSU community and the region are endless,” said von Reichbauer, “and the
university is very influential here in King County, as well. There are approximately 21,000 WSU alums living in
King County. During this past school year, there were 3,082 students enrolled at WSU from King County.”

The council chair noted that Smith is also recognized as a national leader in education. He has served as a
member of the Board of Trustees of the Western Governors University and on the Kellogg Commission on the
Future of the State and Land-Grant Universities. He currently chairs the National Association of State
Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Board of Directors. Also, Smith was chair of the Executive Committee of
the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Before his association with WSU, Smith served 16 years at Penn State, initially as a faculty member, then
department head, and finally, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of both the Cooperative Extension
Service and Agricultural Experiment Station.

A native of California, Smith holds bachelors and doctoral degrees in plant pathology from the University of
California at Berkeley and honorary doctoral degrees from Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan, and Far Eastern
State University in Vladivostok, Russia.

As the president emeritus, Smith works out of the WSU West offices in Seattle.


WHEREAS, Samuel H. Smith serves as the President Emeritus of Washington State
University and is also Chair of the National Association of State Universities and
Land-Grant Colleges Board of Directors; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Smith has served as President of WSU for 15 years, and under his leadership
the university grew in size and stature, capturing worldwide recognition for its teaching,
research, and public service facilities; and

WHEREAS, due in large part to his commitment, the University’s first comprehensive
fund-raising effort, entitled Campaign WSU, attracted $275.4 million in private support,
substantially over its $250 million goal; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Smith has also served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the National
Collegiate Athletic Association, and was honored by the Council for Advancement and
Support of Education District VIII with its Leadership Award; and

WHEREAS, he is known for his compassion and dedication to strengthening undergraduate
and graduate education, as well as stressing an importance in increasing opportunities for
women and minorities; and

WHEREAS, Washington State University has had a profound effect on our region with
approximately 21,000 WSU alumni living in King County and a school enrollment, that last
year included 3,082 students from King County;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, recognize


for his career of more than 30 years of distinguished service in higher education. He is to be
commended for his accomplishments and we wish him continued success in all his future

DATED this twenty-fourth day of July, 2000.

Pete von Reichbauer, Council Chair
Maggi Fimia, District One
Cynthia Sullivan, District Two
Louise Miller, District Three
Larry Phillips, District Four
Dwight Pelz, District Five
Rob McKenna, District Six
Greg Nickels, District Eight
Kent Pullen, District Nine
Larry Gossett, District Ten
Jane Hague, District Eleven
David Irons, District Twelve
Christopher Vance, District Thirteen