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  • Dr. Robert G. Smith
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1913-2006. College of Liberal Arts Alumnus, Class of 1936. Professor of Political Science at Drew, 1939-1941, 1950-1977. Chair and founder, Political Science Department.

Professor Smith – or “The Prof,” as he was affectionately known by thousands of Drew students and alumni – was a University administrator and faculty member for nearly 50 years. After graduating from the College of Liberal Arts in 1936, he completed his master’s degree at Columbia in 1939 and then returned to Drew to teach political science and to coach the men’s tennis team. In 1941, he enlisted in the Army and received a bronze star for his heroic service during World War II. Returning once again to Drew after his military service concluded, and having completed his Ph.D. at Columbia in 1950, he eventually founded the University’s Political Science department and chaired it for 25 years. Professor Smith also played a leadership role in the founding of the London Semester, the Washington, D.C. Semester, and the Semester on the United Nations. The author of three books on the use of public authorities by local governments, he also consulted widely for city and state governments. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay’s Task Force on Transportation Organization. Professor Smith passed away on December 13, 2006.

Smith House, home of the Political Science Department, was renamed for Dr. Smith. Alumni and friends of The Prof have also established a scholarship for outstanding Political Science majors in the College as well as an experiential learning fund that supports student internships in areas such as municipal finance, public policy and administration, and law.

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