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Remembering Dr. Timothy Smith, Professor Emeritus of Education and Adjunct Professor of Global Studies

The Department of Global Studies and Geography is deeply saddened to share the passing of Dr. Timothy Smith, Professor Emeritus of Education and Adjunct Professor of Global Studies on August 4, 2018, just one day after his 84th birthday.

european_odyssey_2016_groupDr. Smith joined the Hofstra faculty in 1963 as an instructor in the Foundations of Education program. He was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1968 and to Associate Professor in 1975 before becoming a full Professor in 1994.   During his career at Hofstra, he served as Chairperson of the Department of Foundations of Education from 1971-1982 and Director/Coordinator of the Master’s Program in Foundations of Education from 1982 until his retirement from the full-time faculty in 2004 at which point he received the title Professor Emeritus in the School of Education.  In the Fall of 2011 he added Adjunct Professor of Global Studies to his list of credentials. The Chair of the Department, Professor Grant Saff, notes that “Tim was a wonderful colleague. His optimism, enthusiasm and collegiality will be greatly missed.”

Tim was an integral part of the Department’s European Odyssey program, along with his wife, Dr. Linda Longmire, Professor of Global Studies and Geography, which was begun in 1992.  The semester-long program, run in the Spring, takes a dozen students around Western and Eastern Europe exploring geographical, historical and contemporary topics and meeting with politicians, policy makers and fellow students.  european_odyssey_2016_group8He taught two of the program’s courses: Globalization & Human Rights and Field Studies in Geography. As they traveled by minivan and stayed in hotels and hostels, students had the opportunity to get to know Tim outside of the ‘classroom.’ One Odyssey alum, Blaine Volpe (2016), upon hearing of his passing commented: “Such heartbreaking news. I had the privilege of traveling, learning and laughing with Tim for a wonderful 10 weeks.  He and Professor Longmire changed my life for the better and made me see the world in new and exciting ways.  I would not be who I am today without Tim and Linda.”

Other alumni commented on his kindness and generosity.  Janey Robson Pruitt (2012) remembered him as the “kindest soul.”   Sisters Gina and Kelly Gallo,european_odyssey_dc_reunion who participated in the European Odyssey in 2013 and 2016 respectively, said: “Tim had the kindest soul and the most magnetic energy. He instilled in us a longing for adventure and a never-ending desire to understand, empathize and learn from other people with different backgrounds and beliefs. Learning from Tim was the ultimate gift which we are eternally grateful for." 

Tim and Linda spent a total of 35 years together, married for the last nine and would travel often, outside of the Odyssey program, both locally and abroad with an occasional ‘Odyssey Reunion’ as happened in January of 2017 when they were in Washington, D.C. at the same time as several Odyssey alumni who enjoyed catching up over dinner.

linda_tim_dancingIn addition to Linda, Tim is survived by two daughters, one son and four grandchildren.  An informal tribute was held Monday, August 6th at the Hofstra Labyrinth and a formal memorial is planned for Friday, September 21st at 5PM.  It will be held at the Helene Fortunoff Theater in Monroe Lecture Hall, followed by a reception in the Lowenfeld Conference and Exhibition Center on the 10th floor of the Axinn Library.