For his outstanding contributions as a graduate adviser and professor, Laurence is recognized on the Donor’s Wall of Fame by Dr. Joseph P Petro of Pemproke Pines, Florida.
According to Dr Petro:
I first met Dr. Smith when I was a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University. Dr. Smith was a professor in the department of administration and supervision. I was bad with first impressions and wasn’t impressed with Dr. Smith in the first class I took with him. His lectures were deep and I was tired from teaching all day. He talked with a soft voice and I was thinking about dinner after a long drive to the university. One time, I fell asleep in one of his classes. He should have thrown me out. Instead, he was very kind and even smiled.
After the above class, I didn’t see him again until I was completing my dissertation. I was at a point where everything seemed to be going wrong and falling apart. My committee chair suggested I go see ‘Larry’. I can still remember the night that I walked into his classroom feeling totally defeated. After the class was dismissed, I told him my situation. Dr. Smith has a soft voice and a shy smile. He hugged me and told me not to worry and that he would help me. He took me under his wing and the dissertation was completed.
I could go on and on about this man: his unique philosophy of education, his care and assistance to countless educators and students. The schools of South Florida have profited by way of the leaders whom he directed. He is an unsung hero that needs to be acknowledged. Laurence Smith is one of those people in my life who has left an indelible mark on my soul.