Wake Forest graduate, former trustee from Newton joins faculty, establishes scholarship

K. Wayne Smith, a 1960 Wake Forest University graduate and former member of the Board of Trustees, is making sure he keeps close ties with his alma mater.

Smith re-joined Wake Forest’s faculty this fall and the university will soon announce the first recipient of the scholarship he started for high school seniors from his hometown.

The first K. Wayne Smith scholarship will be awarded this spring, for the 2001-2002 academic year. The scholarship is based on academic ability, character and need, and is solely for students from the Newton area.

“Establishing this scholarship is partial repayment of my huge debt to Wake Forest and to the wonderful area I am again pleased to call home,” said Smith, who lives in the Newton area.

Smith is a Newton native and a 1956 graduate of Newton-Conover High School whose career includes military work and government service as well as work in business and higher education. He earned a master’s degree in 1962 and a doctorate two years later from Princeton University.

The author of two books and numerous articles, Smith first taught at Wake Forest from 1986 to 1988. He has also taught at Princeton University and West Point Military Academy, where he was a U.S. Army captain.

In government, Smith has served as a special assistant in the Department of Defense and as the director of program analysis for the National Security Council, reporting to former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. In business, Smith has served as chairman and chief executive officer of World Book Encyclopedia, president of Dart Properties and as a group-managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand.

In 1998, Smith retired to his farm in Newton after serving for 10 years as the president and chief executive officer of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) in Dublin, Ohio. OCLC serves more than 40,000 libraries in 75 countries and has the world’s largest bibliographic database, containing over 700 million records. A new, 300,000-square-foot OCLC conference center is named in his honor. Smith remains president emeritus of OCLC.

Smith has received numerous national honors and awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Distinguished Service Award from the U.S. Department of Energy, and Wake Forest University’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He was a member of Wake Forest’s Board of Trustees from 1991-1995 and from 1996-October, 2000.

Smith is an honorary life member of the American Library Association, the group’s highest honor, and holds honorary degrees from Ohio University and Ohio State University. In 1997, he was named a consulting professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. In its 90-year history, Tsinghua has named only six individuals to this position; Smith is the only American.

Smith’s fall course at Wake Forest, “Management in the Non-Profit, Public and Private Sectors,” is a seminar class for seniors that meets once a week.

Categories: Faculty, Recognition, Student, University Announcement