Throughout her impressive 24-year career on campus, Norene Smith took on new challenges — challenges to improve college students’ lives. With an endowment from her estate, Smith will continue to do that.
Smith, who died April 17, 2014, left $50,000 from her estate to fund the Norene A. Smith Endowed Scholarship Fund in Student Affairs Administration. It will provide at least $1,000 a year for two graduate students in the popular program that directly impacts college students.
A native of Cedar Falls, Iowa, Smith earned a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Northern Iowa, and a doctorate from the University of Iowa. She came to UWL in 1961 as the first assistant dean of women.
Always putting students first, she spearheaded numerous student honor programs. She initiated and created the Counseling and Testing Center, serving as its first director. She developed the college student personnel master’s program, which became Student Affairs Administration. She completed her campus career as special assistant to the vice chancellor.
“Dr. Smith worked diligently and continuously took on new challenges paving the way for students,” says longtime friend and colleague Patricia Mertens who established the fund. “Her compassionate nature and leadership style made her a role model for students and young professionals throughout her career.”