Former Architecture Dean Honored with Named Space

C. Murray Smart (center) with interim Dean Ethel Goodstein-Murphree (left) and associate professor Judy Brittenum of the department of landscape architecture.
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C. Murray Smart (center) with interim Dean Ethel Goodstein-Murphree (left) and associate professor Judy Brittenum of the department of landscape architecture.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – C. Murray Smart Jr., former dean and University Professor emeritus of the Fay Jones School of Architecture, was honored recently with the naming of the C. Murray Smart Jr. Lobby in the newly renovated Vol Walker Hall. The naming was made possible thanks to a $250,000 commitment from Smart’s son, Clifton J. Smart III and daughter-in-law M. Gail Smart.

The C. Murray Smart Jr. Lobby was dedicated on Aug. 8 to celebrate Smart’s 80th birthday. Chancellor G. David Gearhart presented both Smart and his son with a resolution expressing the university’s appreciation for honoring such an instrumental individual and supporting the renovation of Vol Walker Hall and the addition of the Steven L. Anderson Design Center.

“I am grateful to Clif and Gail Smart for their generosity in honoring Murray Smart as a father and in recognition of the many important and lasting contributions he made to enhance the Fay Jones School during his years of administrative leadership and teaching,” Gearhart said. “Murray’s name will now remain prominent in years to come within the walls where he led and taught so well, and that is a fitting tribute.”

Smart joined the faculty at the University of Arkansas in 1966 and made the advancement of the Fay Jones School the cornerstone of his professional life. He served as the school’s second dean for 15 years – the longest tenure held by an architecture dean at the university. During that time, the school increased its faculty threefold, added a landscape architecture program and renovated its home in Vol Walker Hall. One of his proudest accomplishments was helping to secure 210 acres on Lake Hamilton in Hot Springs, which would later become Garvan Woodland Gardens.

In 1995, Smart received the Arkansas Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching and Research – a career highlight, according to his wife.

Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, interim dean of the Fay Jones School, believed he was a fitting recipient of the award.

“The breadth and depth of Murray’s contributions to our field are a constant source of inspiration for me,” she said. “This award was the most perfect of distinctions for Murray – that rare architectural educator who is equally gifted as a scholar, a practitioner and a leader in the university and the community.”

Smart retired from the faculty with the rank of University Professor of architecture in 1998 but continued to teach as a professor emeritus. He and his wife have been steady champions and benefactors of the school’s media center, which was named the C. Murray Smart Multi-Media Resource Center in his honor upon his retirement. The school’s most prestigious awards for outstanding achievement in architectural history, the C. Murray Smart Medal and the C. Murray Smart Rome Program Award, recognize his commitment to teaching.

Smart’s son, Clif Smart, is a graduate of Tulane University and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1986. While studying at Tulane, he participated in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Smart was also an attorney in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and later joined The Strong Law Firm in Springfield, Mo., until he was named general counsel for Missouri State University in 2007. In June 2011, Smart was appointed interim dean of Missouri State and was named the school’s 11th president in October 2012. His wife, Gail, is also a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Law and serves as the first lady of Missouri State.

Contacts

Jennifer Holland, director of development communications
University Relations
479-575-7346, jholland@uark.edu

Michelle Parks, director of communications
Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design
479-575-4704, mparks17@uark.edu

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