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Gwen Smith Scholarship

Dr. Smith received two degrees from what is now Texas State University-San Marcos and spent her early years as a physical education teacher in the San Marcos public schools.  Upon the completion of her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, she moved to Illinois in 1946 where she spent the next 33 years as a professor of dance and sports at Illinois State University in Normal.

Dr. Smith’s three decades of community service in San Marcos and Hays County began in 1980 when she retired from Illinois State and returned to the place where she was born.  Her organization affiliations and list of awards and honors seem almost unending.

She was co-chair of both the San Marcos Bicentennial and Sesquicentennial Commissions.  The latter celebration led to the development of the San Marcos River Foundation.

She was recognized by the City of San Marcos as Community Volunteer of the Year in 2009.  She was a founding member and chair of the city’s first Historical Preservation Commission.  Over her many years of service, she served on many city boards and commissions, including the Main Street Advisory Board, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals and the San Marcos Cemetery Commission.

She was a founding board member of both the Lyndon Baines Johnson Museum of San Marcos and Friends of the San Marcos Cemetery, as well as one of the founding members of the San Marcos Performing Arts Association, Summer in the Park and Sights and Sounds of Christmas.  She was a past president of the Heritage Association of San Marcos and the Heritage Neighborhood Association. She was actively involved with the Greater San Marcos Area Seniors Association and the Price Seniors Center.  She served on the Aquarena Advisory Committee, the San Marcos CISD Education Foundation Board, the Central Texas Higher Education Authority Board, the Texas State University Development Foundation Board and the Texas State Friends of Fine Arts Board.