Adventist Review Online | Former Andrews University President Joseph Grady Smoot Dies at 85

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He served from 1968-1983; president from 1976-1983

Joseph Grady Smoot, 85, of Pittsburg, Kansas, United States, died Friday, Jan. 5 at Via Christi Village, where he had resided since January 2015. Smoot’s tenure as president of Andrews University, a Seventh-day Adventist institution in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, from 1976 to 1983, saw many significant accomplishments.

All four of his grandchildren, Hannah, Haley, Eric and Heidi Smoot, are current Andrews University students and their mother, Shari Nash Smoot, serves as the executive assistant to David Faehner, vice president of University Advancement. His son, Andrew Christopher Smoot of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, served in the development office at Andrews University from May 2000 to July 2002, when the family went as missionaries to Kenya.

Memorial services will be held Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 11 a.m. in the Timmons Chapel at Pittsburg State University, Kansas, with Carlos Ancheta of the Fox Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church of Neenah, Wisconsin officiating. A second memorial service will take place at the Fox Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church (details pending.)

An Educator, Scholar, and Administrator

Joseph Grady Smoot was born May 7, 1932, in Winter Haven, Florida to Robert Malcolm Smoot and Vera Eaton Smoot McNutt. Smoot received a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Missionary College in Collegedale, Tennessee in 1955, and Master of Arts and Ph.D. in history in 1961 from the University of Kentucky.

He married Florence Rozell in 1955. After becoming a widower, he married Irma Jean Smoot in 1959.

Smoot served as academic dean at Columbia Union College and dean of graduate studies at Andrews University, where he also became vice president for academic affairs and later president. He held the academic rank of professor of history at Andrews from 1968 to 1983. He led Andrews to professional accreditation in several fields of knowledge, created the first strategic master plan, launched the first comprehensive capital campaign, and built numerous buildings.

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