The 1995 Awards Convocation featured one award that wasn't on the program. Seniors and Undergraduate Association members Raajnish Chitaley and J. Paul Kirby announced the establishment of the Arthur C. Smith Award in honor of Professor Smith, who is stepping down as dean of undergraduate education and student affairs after five years in the position.
Future awards will go to "members of the faculty for meaningful contributions and devotion to undergraduate student life," Mr. Kirby said in making the announcement.
In creating the award, students paid tribute to Dean Smith's contributions over the years, both as a dean and as a member of a total of 14 committees, four of which he chaired. For a period of 10 years, he was on three or four committees at once. He was chair of the faculty from 1983-85 and was made an honorary MIT alumnus in 1993 by the Association of MIT Alumni and Alumnae. He also chaired the graduate program in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for almost 20 years, and he has "served as an unofficial counselor, advocate, friend and champion of undergraduate minority students," Mr. Kirby said.
"It's our hope that in addition to honoring Professor Smith, this award will encourage many more faculty to participate in and improve undergraduate student life," Mr. Chitaley said.
"This place has been my life, and to have people recognize that in any small way is a truly wonderful thing," Professor Smith said. "I appreciate the honor a great deal, I appreciate the thought behind it, and I appreciate having been allowed to work here for 30-some years."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 7, 1995.