Professor P. Scott Smith taught at Eastern Illinois University from 1953 to 1990. For over 37 years he shared his excitement for Physics with the students. He recently celebrated his 90th birthday and his daughter wanted to surprise him with notes from past EIU students and faculty members. With Dr. Steven Daniels help, an email request went out to former Physics and Pre-Engineering majors. Over thirty people replied, eager to share stories and wish Dr. Smith a Happy Birthday. It is clear that Dr. Smith’s style at the blackboard was legendary for its messy appearance. But it is equally clear that his students learned both enthusiasm for the subject and depth of knowledge that served them well in later years. There was an especially interesting episode that was related by some students from the 1970s about the campus pond. If you would like to submit your own note to Dr. Smith please send e-mail to Dr. Daniels.
Dr. Smith’s daughter, Karen Conway, wrote to express her gratitude:
“To the many alumni who wrote notes to my Dad – thank you so very much for helping to make his 90thbirthday so special. He loved teaching – and still does, as these photos reveal! – and it meant so much to him to hear from you. He has spent many hours poring over the notes that you sent.
While Dad is sharp as ever and surfs the web daily for news and sports, I haven’t been able to get him on email and he is still a miserable typist.”
Dr. Smith did want to pass along his personal comment:
“Your messages really made my day. They brought back many fond memories of my days at Eastern. Thank you so much for remembering me and taking the time to let me know.”
And here are a few pictures of his birthday celebration.