West Lafayette, IN | Certificate of Distinction: 1977
Mary Frances Smith, West Lafayette, Indiana, already has a middle name. If she could use another one, it would have to be "Dedication." Quiet, well organized, and unassuming in her approach to her work, her personal needs and wishes have always been secondary to the good things she can do for others.
A 1932 graduate of Indiana University, she taught high school vocational home economics before joining the State 4-H Club Staff at Purdue in 1950. Since that time, she has been an innovator of the highest order.
For eighteen years, Mary Frances was chairman of the 4-H Roundup. Some 3000 4-Hers attend this event at Purdue each year. Figure it up. That is 54,000 young people touched by her good work.
In 1958, she assumed leadership of the 4-H Exhibit Hall at the Indiana State Fair, and has built it in to a real showcase for Indiana 4-H clubbers.
Many present day leaders in agriculture, business, industry, and community service can remember the training and inspiration they enjoyed while attending the 4-H Junior Leaders Conference. As you might well guess, Mary Frances Smith had that responsibility, too.
For years, the Rotary Adult Leaders Training Meetings have laid the groundwork for effective, largely volunteer direction of 4-H Club activity. She was responsible for the direction of these sessions for many years.
Mary Frances Smith was in charge of the 4-H Scholarships. Without the financial assistance provided through these programs, it would have been impossible for many young men and women to attend the Purdue School of Agriculture or the School of Home Economics.
We've listed some of the good things that Mary Frances has done in her life. But, somehow, statistics just don't ring with the real character of Mary Frances Smith. Quotes from people whose lives have been touched by her such as "true professional," "high esteem," "unlimited energies," "tenacity," and "dedication" seem to describe the real essence of her life. Thank you, Mary Frances Smith.