Peter L. Smith Scholarship

Peter L. Smith, 1933-2006

Dr. Peter Smith was a professor, the unofficial university historian, and a true friend of the University of Victoria.

Smith started at Victoria College in 1949, during the Lansdowne era, and served as editor of the Martlet. He went on to UBC and then Yale University, where he earned his PhD.

Among the first faculty members of the university when UVic opened its doors in 1963, he was the founding chair of the Classics Department (later named Greek and Roman Studies) from 1963-69. Smith served as dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts through most of the 1970s, a position he would later call his "favourite job of all time" in an interview with the Ring newspaper just before his retirement from UVic in 1998.

Having witnessed firsthand the evolution of UVic from its predecessors, Victoria College and the Provincial Normal School, Smith was in a unique position to record the history of post-secondary education in Victoria. In 1993, with the assistance of the UVic Alumni Association, he wrote “A Multitude of the Wise: UVic Remembered,” which blends history, anecdotes and a copious selection of archival photographs to tell the story of higher education in Victoria beginning with the opening of Victoria College in 1903.

In his preface to the book, Smith wrote: "My affection for Victoria College and UVic is an emotion that I can't pretend to conceal."

He was a Distinguished Alumni Award winner in 1996 and in retirement remained actively involved with the alumni association. 

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