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Dr. G. Warren Smith Collection

Identifier: 3-16-2

Content Description

The collection consists of publications, correspondence, a journal, university records, university promotional materials, newspapers, photographs, neck ties, medallions, Rocky watch, SRU buttons, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, a DVD, business cards, a plaque, a framed photograph


  • 1998 - 2015

Conditions Governing Use

The items in this collection are protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use these items in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

See In Copyright-Educational Use Permitted on for more infomation.

The Slippery Rock University Archives assumes no responsibility for copyright infringement by users. Contact the Archives at for more information.

Biographical / Historical

Grant Warren Smith (1941 – 2021) was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents were Lucile Rathmann Smith and Grant Warren Smith. They met at Grinnell College in Iowa, where G. Warren would meet his future wife. His father was a chemistry professor except during WWII. After the war, the family moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota where his father taught at the university. After some years, his father took a job in the Chemistry Department at The Pennsylvania State University where G. Warren grew up.

G. Warren Smith was actively involved with the Boy Scouts which inspired his interest in nature, caving, and kayaking. He enjoyed music and took violin lessons. In his high school years, Smith was a counselor at a YMCA camp in New York State. He was in charge of the nature program, planning and leading hikes and camping trips, something he would return to in later years.

After graduating from Grinnel College, Smith went on to get his PhD in chemistry from Cornell University.

G. Warren Smith was a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, and at Cornell University. He served as dean at the School of Science and Technology at the University of Houston. Just prior to coming to Slippery Rock as the fourteenth president of the university, Smith served as the fourteenth president of Southeastern Louisiana University (LSU) in Hammonds, Louisiana. During his time at SLU, Smith helped guide the university through the contentious decision to eliminate the football program so there would be enough money to move the library collection into a newly built facility.

In 1997, G. Warren Smith was named the fourteenth president of SRU and quickly began to address the university's decade-long enrollment problem. During his tenure at SRU, Smith is remembered for creating Future Watch, a taskforce to help the university continue to grow and improve, and for his efforts in fundraising for the university and its programs. Under his leadership the university received a $100,000 grant from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to create a technology lab. The career lab, which was located in the Maltby building, was essential in helping students further their education by offering up-to-date technology with which to work. Decades before COVID-19 was ever a thought, Smith had the foresight to see the benefit of online synchronous classes. Smith saw this as one of the future benefits of education, opening the door to students who might not be able to move to Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.

In October 2002, after he’d served five years as president, the Chancellor of the State System of Higher Education and the Board of Governors voted not to renew Smith's contract. In a move that was shocking and unexpected, Smith was informed that his position would end in June of 2004. After a small campaign of concerned Slippery Rock citizens, alumni, and Board of Trustees members who voiced their concerns and support for Smith to the Chancellor, to Harrisburg, and to local media, the Chancellor and the Board of Governors voted to terminate Smith's position effective immediately, giving him twenty-four hours to vacate the president's office and two months to leave the president's house on campus.

Following his time at SRU, G. Warren and his wife Dr. Constance Smith decided they liked Slippery Rock so much they had their home built there. Both G. Warren and his wife were heavily involved in the program they built, the Institute for Learning in Retirement (ILR), a non-profit member-directed organization, providing lifelong learning experiences for adults. Former members of the ILR remember G. Warren as being knowledgeable about the activities he was involved with, from sharing information about plants and animal life while hiking, or providing background information on the history of an opera or song if they were going to the theatre. Smith enjoyed volunteering with the Scouts; buying and selling antique lamps; and continuing to play the violin with the Slippery Rock Orchestra. The Slippery Rock Public Library is dedicated to both Dr. G. Warren Smith and his wife, Dr. Constance Smith for their contributions towards its refurbishment.


3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into five series. Arrangement is based on original order whenever possible, and chronological when the order is not evident.

Series 1 - Papers, records, and correspondence

A - Inauguration: (1997-1999), Materials related to the Inauguration of G. Warren Smith as President at SRU, contains personal correspondence of the planning of the inauguration, copies of articles about inauguration, letters of congratulations, and misc. materials about SRU.

B - North / South University Trip, (1999-2000), correspondence, brochures, newspaper articles, maps, photographs, travel tickets, travel itinerary, coin currency

C - Semmel Weis University Trip, (2000), correspondence, photographs, brochures, maps, programs

D - Butler County Bicentennial Committee, (2000), correspondence, Commemorative Souvenir Book, reports, articles, programs, Wooden Souvenirs from the Butler County Sesqui-Centennial

E - Dismissal, (1997-2000), arranged chronologically, correspondence, diary, bills, legal documents

Series 2 - Publications

A - Presidential Statements and Reports

B - SRU Reports

C - Calendars

D - Geological Reports

Series 3 - Sports

A - Football Programs

B - SRU at Florida Atlantic University

C - Jack Critchfield Park Dedication

D - Misc.

Series 4 - Realia, Memorabilia, Ephemera

Series 5 - Audio Visual Materials

Separated Materials

Items pulled:

Series 1A, Hanging Folder 3, Box 1, FF3: 10 copies, Newspaper, Tri-County News, v. 23, no. 47, December 11, 1998; 4 copies, Newspaper, Butler Eagle, v. 129, no. 241, December 13, 1998; 1 copy, Newspaper, The Rocket, v. 79, no. 18, February 21, 1997

Series 1A, Hanging Folder 3, Box 1, FF 6: 4 copies, G. Warren Smith photo; 5 copies, Principals and Presidents of Slippery Rock University, 1999; 5 copies, Wood, Stone, Brick and Steel, later edition, 5 copies, "At the Top of the Rock: SRU's new preident hoping to improve school's programs," Allied News, July 29, 1998, with note that reads "GWS, I was organizing some files & thought you'd like to have these. JP Muller"

Series 1B, Box 1, FF 9, 1 copy, newspaper, The Independent, v. 5, no. 250, 10 December 1999; 1 copy, newspaper, The Independent, v. 5, no. 248; 1 copy, newspaper, The Daily Star, December 9, 1999; 1 copy, newspaper, Observer Sport, December 9, 1999; 1 copy, newspaper, The Bangladesh Observer, December 10, 1999

Series 1B, Box 1, FF 13, 1 copy, newspaper, The Independent, v. 5, no. 250, 10 December 1999; 1 copy, newspaper, The Daily Star, v. 9, no. 314, December 9, 1999

Series 1D, Box 1, FF 16, 1 copy, newspaper, The Herald, July 2, 2000; 1 copy, Allied News, v. 121, no. 45, November 22, 2000; newspaper, Butler Eagle, Aug. 24, 2000: copy map route and blurb about North Hall Fire, return copy of NH fire blurb before Letter from Dick May, July 27, 2000

Series 1E, Box 1, FF22, 1 copy, newspaper, The Rocket, v. 85, no. 9, October 25, 2002; 1 copy, newspaper, The Rocket, v. 85, no. 13 January 17, 2003;

Series 1E, Various newspaper clipping, some have already been photocopied, other not. Need to be copied an placed back into folders chronologically

Series 1E, Box 1, FF 30, 6 copies, newspaper, The Rocket, v. 85, no. 19, February 28, 2003; Slippery Rock University pin included with materials for Dr. Robert Smith's inauguration, removed and placed with materials from Series 3

Series 1F, Box 1, FF 31, newspaper clippings about Foxburg

Series 1F, Box 1, FF 32, various newspaper clippings; 1 copy, The Rocket, v. 94, no. 15, February 10, 2012, 1 copy, The Rocket, v. 95, no. 16, February 17, 2012; 1 copy, The Rocket, v. 81, no. 12, December 4, 1998; 1 copy, The Rocket, v. 81, no. 1, September 5, 1997; 1 copy, Butler Eagle, v. 129, no. 241, December 13, 1998

Series 1F, Box 1, FF 34, all art pieces pulled for digitization

Series 3B, Box , FF , 1 copy, The Tampa Tribune, Saturday September 5, 1998; 1 copy, The Tampa Tribune, September 6, 1998; 1 copy, Boca Raton News, March 10, 2001; 1 copy, The Palm Beach Post, August 29, 2001; 1 copy, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 1, 2001; 1 copy, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 2, 2001;

Series 3C, Box , FF, 2 copies, The Rocket, April 19, 2002

Series 3D, Box, FF, 4 copies, The Rocket, Tuesday November 25, 1997; 1 copy, The New York Times, October 31, 1998;

Condition Description

Materials are in good condition, though newspapers and other acidic materials will need to be separated

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Slippery Rock University Archives and Special Collections Repository

315 Bailey Library
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock PA 16057