Faculty Hall of Fame Award 1999
Dr. Charles Wayne Smith


Dr. Charles Smith's career began at Cameron 29 years ago as an assistant professor of history when Cameron was making the transition from a junior college to a four-year university. During that time, his students have seen him as a knowledgeable, fair, witty professor who makes history lively and relevant. This statement is a reflection of his teaching philosophy which he says, "has simply been to see each student as an individual with goals, ambitions and dignity that deserved both my respect and best teaching efforts possible."

Born in 1940, he received an associate degree with highest honors in 1962 from Clarke Memorial Junior College, Newton, Miss., and a bachelor's degree in history and a minor in political science with honors from William Carey College, Hattiesburg, Miss. He had graduated fellowships at the University of Southern Mississippi where he earned a masters in history and minor in political science and a doctorate in history.

During Smith's first three years at Cameron, he contributed to the development of the social science department and to the study of European history within that department. He participated in the development of Cameron's governance structure, a mandate of North Central Accreditation (NCA) evaluators. In 1973-1977, he was an associate professor with responsibilities divided between teaching and the development of an interdisciplinary humanities program. He became a full professor in 1977.

Smith was appointed special assistant to the president for academics in 1981 and served as vice president for academic affairs and student service in 1982-1989. His duties included supervising the NCA self-study and accreditation visit; directing the University's academic reorganization; and establishing academic advisement, the student development center, Title III programs, the media center, graduate planning and library automation. He was a member of the council on instruction for the State Regents for Higher Education in 1982-1989.

He returned to full-time teaching in 1989 and has been chair of the department of history and humanities since 1995. Major accomplishments in this position have included coordinating the work of a faculty committee in developing the NCA program review for student teaching credentials in social science and overseeing the development of museum studies courses to be added to the department curriculum.

His scholarly work has been published in various journals and presented to academic audiences. He has served as academic consultant for projects funded by the Oklahoma Humanities Committee regarding "The Role of Women in Southwest Oklahoma." He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta and has served as advisor to the Cameron chapter. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, served as president in 1976-77 and was honored with the Cameron chapter's Distinguished Faculty Award.

His civic and community activities include serving as a councilman for the city of Lawton in 1980-84 and as a member of the board of the Oklahoma Foundation for the Humanities from 1993 to the present. He has served on the boards of the Salvation Army and Boys Club and as a member of the Arts for All budget committee.