The University of North Carolina Herbarium
has catalogued to date 535 vascular plant specimens collected by B.E.
Smith. Collecting locations include
North Carolina and South Carolina, but by far the majority of the specimens
were collected in Darlington County, South Carolina as part of Smith’s
doctoral thesis on the flora of that area.
As only about 10% of the collection is currently catalogued, without
doubt more specimens collected by Smith will be found.
Photograph courtesy of
Smith was a Tar Heel by birth, education
and death. He was born in Johnston
County, North Carolina, and graduated with a B.A. from the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1931.
He went on to study under William
Chambers Coker and earned both a Masters degree and a Ph.D. from
the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1934 and 1942
respectively. “A taxonomic and
morphological study of the genus Cuscuta, dodders, in North Carolina,” was the title of his
“A study of the dicotyledonous flora of Darlington County, South
Carolina,” was the title of his doctoral thesis.
Budd Elmon Smith
met Ethel Lilly Knott in German language class at the University of North
Carolina in Chapel Hill. She was a
graduate of Meredith College in Wake County, North Carolina, and earned a
B.A. in Library Science at UNC-CH as well as a M.A. in English and Counseling
at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
Budd Elmon Smith enlisted in the United
States Navy on 12 November, 1942, and served until 24 December 1945.3
In 1953 Dr. Smith became
president of Wingate College in Union County, North Carolina. Ethel Smith became the Head Librarian of
the college library, and it was named in her honor on 23 January 1959.5,
K. Smith, undated
Photograph courtesy of Wingate University
Budd and Ethel Smith assumed leadership of the
youthful college, immediately attacking its twin points of vulnerability:
enrollment and financial support. New recruitment strategies were implemented
that aimed to increase the student body from its tenuous level of about 400.
In 1955, Dr. Smith interested Mr. Charles A. Cannon of Kannapolis in the school. Mr. Cannon saw Wingate as a place
where the children of textile workers and others in the middle class might
receive opportunities in higher education. He began to invest in the renewal
of the physical plant and the expansion of the curriculum, providing
first-class facilities for the growing student body which reached 1,500 in
the late 1960s. Dr. Smith, a botanist by discipline, personally directed the
planting of flowers and trees which complemented the stately oaks on the
central campus. Through the labor of the Smiths and the generosity of Mr.
Cannon and others, Wingate weathered the storms of its youth and turned to the
future with new confidence. 4
The Budd E. Smith Science Building,
constructed in 1962, is adjacent to the Ethel K. Smith Library.6
Budd Elmon Smith
retired from Wingate College in 1974.
In 1995 Wingate became a university.
A bust of Dr. Smith was unveiled at a ceremony at Wingate University
in October, 2011. It was sculpted by Stephen Smith
of Marshville, NC and is located in front of the Holbrook Building.
Smith died in Smithfield, Johnston County,
North Carolina and is buried in the Smith Family Cemetery in Benson, Johnston
County, North Carolina beside his wife, Ethel Lilly Knott Smith (1915-1988).1,2
Department of Health. North Carolina
Find a Grave
accessed 8 June 2012.
Dept. of Veteran Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010.
http://www.wingate.edu/documents/wu-history.pdf accessed on 8 June 2012.
J. (December 7, 1985) An interview with Ethel K. Smith. Biblical Recorder, December 7, 1985. Volume 151, No. 44, pg. 6. http://lgdata.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/docs/1244/312456/EKSarticle.pdf accessed on 6 June 2012.
communication via email, Debra Hargett, MLIS,
E-resources & Special Collections, Ethel K. Smith Library, Wingate
University. 20 July 2012.