To: UNI Faculty and Staff
From: Jon Hall, Associate Professor of Communication Studies
In Memoriam: M. B. Smith
Dr. M. B. Smith, professor emeritus of Communication Studies, died Monday, October 2, 2000, at the Cedar Valley Hospice Home in Waterloo, of cancer. He was eighty years of age at the time of his passing. No visitation or services were held. Interment was in the Greenwood Cemetery in Cedar Falls. He was preceded in death by his wife Mary (September 1999) and his parents.
M. B. was born September 8, 1920, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the son of Blinn B. and Mercedes (Schmidt) Smith. He married Mary Ruth Babcock on November 24, 1943, in Watertown, South Dakota. He served in World War II. M. B. earned his undergraduate degree at Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and earned his master's degree and Ph. D. from the University of Minnesota. His area of emphasis in the doctorate was speech with a minor in clinical psychology.
M. B. joined the faculty of Iowa State Teachers College (now University of Northern Iowa) in 1947. For the next thirty-five years, he taught a variety of courses in general education and speech, the latter at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. His favorite courses were public speaking and psychology of speech. M. B. set high standards for himself and for his students. It has become commonplace for his students to speak eloquently as to his contributions in their own professional development.
M. B. was also active in faculty governance, having served on the Faculty Senate, and serving as Chair of the Senate and Chair of the Faculty. He took pride in having been a member of the faculty during the period of time when the institution made the transition from Iowa State Teachers College to the State College of Iowa and finally to the University of Northern Iowa.
He retired in January of 1983. In retirement, he continued to read widely, attended functions of the university, and served in various capacities on the Cedar Falls Library Board.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.