Office: Department of History
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
Truman Smith is the youngest person hired as a member of the Department of History. Coming to Southeast at age 23, Smith had just received his M.A. in history from the University of Arkansas. When he entered Henderson State Teachers College to work on his B.S. in Education he felt his life would be spent as a secondary history teacher. The expansion of Southeast Missouri State College in the early 1960's, however, gave Smith a chance that defined his career.
During his twenty-two years in the classroom, Truman Smith was unique in the department. To say his lecture style was vigorous was to understate the fact. Everyone in the department knew exactly what "Preacher" Smith did in Medieval History because they could hear his lectures at either end of the hall. Most of the time Smith -- and his students -- left class in a wonderful mood. Even Dr. Mark Scully would stop and listen, "mesmerized by the stories" Smith told.
Professor Smith was widely respected as the department's most knowledgeable and sought after academic advisor. He also pursued his interest in sports by becoming the assistant baseball coach.
The last ten years of Smith's southeast career were spent outside the department. In 1988 he accepted an assignment with Facilities Management working with the grounds crew. He specialized in the planting and caring for hundreds of roses planted on the campus. He also took a personal interest in the upkeep of the Hunter Log Cabin site.
Truman Smith now volunteers considerable time planting and caring for flower beds at his wife's elementary school, his church, and for members of his family. Along with fishing and masquerading as a golfer, he also loves to watch his grandkids play softball and baseball. Smith notes, "It doesn't get any better than this."