Tuesday, September 18, 2012

SBU Dedicates Roy G. Smith Physical Therapy Wall of Honor

Southwest Baptist University News Release
Contact: Sharina Smith, Office of Marketing & Communications
417-328-1803 / ssmith@sbuniv.edu

BOLIVAR, Mo. – SBU recently dedicated the new Roy G. Smith Physical Therapy Wall of Honor located in the Warren B. Davis Family Physical Therapy Center.

see caption below
The wall, which will memorialize the names of high achieving physical therapy alumni and clinicians, was named in honor of Roy G. Smith in recognition of his lifetime of international humanitarian Christian service. The former Harry Denman Evangelism Award recipient was an international fund raiser for the reconstruction of the post World War II Pacific Rim, U.S. Navy Officer, Director of the YMCA for South America, guest preacher, and advocate for health reform for patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. 

(The plaque reads as follows):
Roy G. Smith was born on January 20, 1911, in Stotts City, Mo., and spent his life serving others. Raised on a farm near Sarcoxie, Mo., he found the means to attend the University of Missouri during the Great Depression.

While at the University he played basketball for the Tigers and served as President of the university chapter of the YMCA. Upon graduation, Mr. Smith secured a job working for the YMCA in St. Louis, Mo., as the General Program Secretary. Not long after he married LloGene Wood of St. Louis and started a family. When the Second World War broke out, he was called to serve his country as a U.S. Navy officer. After completing officer training in Virginia Beach, VA, he was stationed aboard several ships in the Pacific Theatre which would establish a pattern of international travel and the future service direction for Mr. Smith.

As the War came to a close, he sent for his young bride and family back in the United States to join him in the Philippines. His family was on the very first civilian transport ship to land in Manila after the War. For the next six years, Mr. Smith led fund raising campaigns through the YMCA to help with the reconstruction of the war torn Pacific Rim. In 1952, he was promoted to the Director of the YMCA for all of South America and was relocated to Lima, Peru.

After nearly 50 years of service to the YMCA, Mr. Smith retired and returned to the United States in 1972. At that point in time he was responsible for the construction and operations of all of the YMCA facilities in South America. Mr. Smith was not finished with his service upon retirement. He accepted positions in the ministry with the United Methodist Church in both Warrenton and Columbia, Mo.

He served in many capacities including guest preacher for rural churches with no full time minister in the district as well as the parish visitor making daily trips to visit infirmed church members in local hospitals and nursing homes. Very late in his life, he became an advocate for health care reform related to respite care for families caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.

The State Historical Society of Missouri housed on the Campus of the University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo., has documented, archived, and displayed many of the Wood-Smith Family, Papers, 1864-1987 (C3857) outlining the international humanitarian service of Mr. Smith.

The Physical Therapy Wall of Honor is named after Mr. Roy G. Smith in recognition of his lifetime of international humanitarian Christian service as a model to inspire future generations of servant leaders in His global society. Dedicated on 07-18-2012

PHOTO: The wall of honor is pictured with display artifacts about Mr. Smith, including the Harry Denman Evangelism Award and a 1931 Savitar (University of Missouri).

(From left for right: Sara Salivar (daughter), Patsy J. Lesh (daughter), Steven G. Lesh (grandson), Reaghan Lesh (great granddaughter), Diana B. Lesh (granddaughter-in-law).

Southwest Baptist University is a leader among private universities in truly integrating Christ-centered academic pursuits with comprehensive professional programs at an affordable price. At SBU, the faculty and staff create a caring, academic community to prepare students to be servant leaders in a global society. For more information, visit www.SBUniv.edu.

SBU’s Office of Marketing and Communications is available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 399-7918.