2001 "Penguin of the Year": Mary B. Smith

Mary Boyer Smith, who gave more than 40 years of her life to Youngstown State University and has remained active in the Mahoning Valley community, was honored along with Paul McFadden and Jeff Wilkins as the 2001 Penguins of the Year at the 11th annual Penguin Club Scholarship/Ring Dinner last year.

Smith came to Youngstown College in 1939 and retired in 1980 after serving in various capacities in her more than 40 years at the University. Once Smith retired she continued to be active in various church and charity organizations in the Valley.

She was hired at Youngstown College by President Howard Jones in October 1939 to be a biology professor and an admissions counselor. She served that role until 1944 when she became an assistant registrar and recorder. For 22 years she was the assistant registrar before taking over as YSU's registrar in 1966. She worked as the registrar until 1971 when she moved to the position of dean of admission and records. After two years in that role, she became the Director of Planning and Placement until her retirement in June 1980.

A supporter of the Athletic Department, Smith was the head of Youngstown College's Physical Education Department and coordinator of health and physical education from 1947 to 1957.

When Smith joined the university, Youngstown College had an enrollment of 723. When she left in 1980, Youngstown State University's enrollment was 15,000.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., she was the president of the Youngstown Federation of Women's Clubs Inc., an organization of more than 30 women's clubs throughout the Valley. She played a major role in the development of a Youngstown United Way chapter. At First Christian Church, she was chairwoman of the board for three years, treasurer for three years and was also a Sunday School Teacher. In her spare time, she was an avid golfer. She was also a YWCA board member and president.

For her efforts she has earned many awards. In 1997, she earned the Lifetime Leadership Award from Hiram College. At the 11th annual YWCA Women-of-the-Year banquet she was one of 11 women honored as Women of the Year. A scholarship at YSU is in her name presented by the Youngstown Educational Foundation. In 1990, she was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame. In 1981, Smith was a recipient of a Doctor of Humanities Degree.

Prior to her lifetime commitment to YSU, Smith taught and coached in the Trumbull County School System. From 1931 through 1936 she coached High School athletics in the Mecca schools. She also spent 10 years as a semi-professional basketball player in Warren. While in school at Hiram College, she worked as the alumni secretary while she was working toward her bachelor's degree. She earned her bachelor's of arts in teaching in 1939. She later received a masters from The Ohio State University in 1947.

Smith grew up playing basketball and participating in track and field at Cortland High School in 1927 and 1928.

She was married to Dr. Joseph E. Smith, a dean at YSU, who passed away in 1970.