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  • Synopsis: Early life and decision to come to NIU
    Keywords: Fulbright Program; Center for Southeast Asian Studies; The Philippines; Journalism
    Transcript: KEATH: My name is Matt Keath. Today is Tuesday, October 2, 2019. I am here today in the DeKalb Public Library in DeKalb, Illinois to conduct an oral history interview with Agapita Smith for Northern Illinois University's 125th Anniversary Oral History Project. Thank you, Ms. Smith, for participating. I'd like to start with some biographical information. Could you please say a bit about your background such as where you grew up and what your life was like before you came to NIU?

    SMITH: Born in 1945 in the Philippines. After I did my high school course and my master's degree, applied for a Fulbright grant to three universities in the States, with concentration on journalism or news editorial. Fortunately, I was accepted by three universities, Ohio State, Syracuse, and Northern Illinois University. Fortunately, with my concentration on news editorial, and the, I would say, the concentration of the Southeast Asian center of NIU, I was accepted, or I accepted, the NIU admission. So that was in 1972, when the Philippines was besieged with martial law and upheaval in the area. When I came to Northern, there were, I think, twenty-some thousand students then, with a lot of Asians. I was active with the International Relations Club and participated in other activities dealing with international students. After that, in as much as a month after I came, we had martial law declared. I couldn't go back home after pursuance of my degree, simply because most of the radio, TV, and newspapers were closed. So I had to stay here on a, I would say, extension of the Fulbright grant by doing what you call now "laboratory work", or something, to extend my stay. "Practical training" was the word that they used. I went to DeKalb County Press then and sought a job through the help of my mentor, Dr. Avi Bass, in terms of doing news editorials. I was assigned in the second shift, the graveyard shift, doing editing of newspaper inserts, which was the, I would say, the business of DeKalb County Press. That's how I met my husband a few months later. That was 1973, and then in 1974, of course we got married. That's the short synopsis.

    KEATH: Could you share a story from your time in NIU as a student that's especially memorable to you?

    SMITH: When I took a lot of broadcast classes and journalism classes, there was a feeling of, I don't know whether it was of pleasantries and welcome on the part of the other students. Of course they looked at me with this second look, thinking that, "Who is this international student who's here?" Later on, we got along pretty well. Concurrent with that, in 1974, I was able to find a job at Kishwaukee College doing what I came for, in terms of teaching. I taught journalism at Kishwaukee for 20-some years, and later on was promoted to be Dean of Development and College Relations until 1994. Then, later on, I was promoted to deanship.

    KEATH: I know you mentioned that part of the draw of NIU was the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

    SMITH: Correct.

    KEATH: Could you say a little bit more about what the reputation was as you understand it and why that was important in your choosing to come here?

    SMITH: In 1903, it's interesting because I just saw a history about the admission of Filipinos to Northern. There were a lot of Filipinos who came to NIU to study teaching because it was originally a normal school. They came to NIU, that was the first bunch of Filipinos who came to Northern. From then on, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, through the leadership of Donn V. Hart, became so popular in terms of their teaching and the faculty who led the group. Donn V. Hart was originally also from Syracuse. He came to Northern and was really a leading figure of the entire center. It was ranked, during that time, one of the top fifteen in the country, top ten or top fifteen in the country. That's the reason why I was strongly, I would say, adhering to NIU's philosophies.
  • Synopsis: Life as a graduate student
    Keywords: roommates; the Philippines; international students; Fulbright scholars; DeKalb; DeKalb residents; Newman Center; Catholocism
    Transcript: KEATH: Could you describe what your life was both on campus and off campus when you were a student here?

    SMITH: They called me the "Gypsy" because I was moving from one apartment to the other. I had three moves during my first semester, from one place to the other, from Hillcrest and then from Normal Road and then from Lucinda. These were the three moves that I did, depending upon my roommate. Eventually I had set my footing on Lucinda Avenue, where I was rooming with a lot of other Filipinos. It was a great experience.

    KEATH: Could you say more about what that community of students from the Philippines was like?

    SMITH: The Philippines is composed of so many different type of ethnic groups. We have eighty-one dialects. Our common tongue is English. We still spoke English. I could understand them but they could hardly understand me because they were talking the national language. I grappled with that language because I'm from the South. It was a great relationship so much so that I even asked my former roommates to be part of our wedding party. It was a great experience. And up to now, I'm still holding strong relations with former students and former classmates. They're still here, some of them are still here.

    KEATH: I've heard you touch a little bit on this, on how you socialize. Could you talk about how you socialized? I know you mentioned you were in a couple of clubs, you had this community of other people from the Philippines, could you just talk more about what socializing was like outside of class during that time?

    SMITH: Well, they would come to my apartment on Hillcrest every Friday evening, and we have potluck. We just talk and do our socializing, telling stories of our native countries and all that. It was a great experience. Other roommates of mine were from Thailand, and another one was from Japan. I would say we would exchange our pleasantries and experience in our native countries. That was then.

    KEATH: How did your expectations of what NIU was going to be like differ from what things were actually like when you got here?

    SMITH: That's an interesting question. When I took the Greyhound bus from Chicago, and then when we were on our way to DeKalb, I started looking at the grounds, and I looked at a lot of corn fields. I said to my co-Fulbrighter, Tony Ravalo, God bless his soul because he died last year, "Is this the America that we were talking about?" My concept of America was tall buildings and a lot of, not a lot of suburbia. We were looking around, we came down the area where Melin’s Lock and Key is now. That was originally the Greyhound station bus stop. We looked around and said, Oh my God, this is not the America we were thinking of. We managed, after a few months, that we have to live by NIU, and it was a great experience. I lived with one of the former Indonesian professors at Northern just across the lagoon, and I rented a room there for seventy-five dollars a month. Our pension at Fulbright was 210, and so out of that, you pay for lodging, your food, and other areas that you have to, including, I think including books. It was a very, very small, or I would say minuscule, I would say pension. We would call ourselves, instead of Fulbright, we called ourselves half brights because of our allowance. We managed. I came with four other guys from the Philippines. What we would do, we would go through the old Pheasant Room and do their buffet. That time, I think it was $1.75, if I'm not mistaken. We would do the buffet, and I would bring a big bag and we would start putting food in our bag, and then after that, divide it among the others when we get out of Pheasant Room, and that would be our dinner that night. We would do that on a weekly basis. That's the way we managed in terms of our allowance.

    KEATH: How would you describe the relationship between NIU students and other residents of DeKalb while you were here as a student?

    SMITH: You mean the native students?

    KEATH: Well, I meant more like people who live in DeKalb who don't have an affiliation with the university?

    SMITH: I think there was a certain type of animosity. Most of the residents, I think that time they're not welcome with open arms the international students probably because we were new faces. I don't think they were familiar with our culture, but then in the long run, though, we managed to befriend a lot of students in the area, and not only students, but also the locals, I would say, became very active in most of their activities that they invited us to. One of the, I would say attractive features is the fact that we had Newman center, which is an affiliate of St Mary's, for our religious belief. I would say 81 percent of the Filipinos, by the time I left, are Catholics, and so we manage, at least from my part, to go to church every weekend and all that. As a matter of fact, I lived near Lucinda and they had a 12:05 mass still every day, every weekday. I would run to Newman probably on 10:00 to noon to attend the 12:05 mass, and that was, I think, my anchor during my stay here.

    KEATH: I think you've kind of already touched on this,
  • Synopsis: Campus politics and student activism
    Keywords: Marcos, Ferdinand; student activism; student clubs
    Transcript: but in the late 1960s, early 1970s were times of notable student activism in the Philippines and in the United States. Could you say a little bit about what the political climate was like among your peers in the Philippines and maybe how that compared to the political climate at NIU?

    SMITH: As I mentioned, when I left our country a month after, to be exact, September 21, 1972, our then president, Marcos, declared martial law, for the simple reason, as he said, the local communists coming to our country. That was his reasoning. Of course, I was younger then I was in my late twenties, and I really didn't understand the actual reason why he declared such. On the other hand, this country, I think it was also a time of activism by a lot of NIU students, Kent state and all that. Yes, a lot of activism. I think it was a universal trend for activism, a lot of students. When I was teaching at Kishwaukee, there were a lot of, I wouldn't say uprisings or something, but there were a lot of incidents when a lot of students would huddle and discuss about the political climate. Of course, I did not participate in that. I just had a listening ear to what they were saying.

    KEATH: What did that activism look like at NIU? I know you said that it was there at NIU. Were there any things that you saw or?

    SMITH: If there were things that I would have seen, probably they were in the background. I did not see them actually, but you could feel it. You could feel it. The president of our international relations club, I'll never forget his name, Allswell Musan, was from Africa, and he dealt a very good hand in terms of three things. The problems of the other international students in our club. We had from India, from Malaysia, all over international relations club. It was very active, but in a good way. It wasn't the destructive type of activism, at least during my time.

    KEATH: Could you say a little bit more about the kinds of problems that the international club was addressing?

    SMITH: If there were problems that the international club was facing, it would probably be just the interaction, personal interaction between some of the members from different countries that they couldn't get along, but I couldn't actually or actually see the animosity between them. We even had social events, probably before Christmas or after or before Easter, and doing some native dances or native entertainment to entertain other organizations. It was a very active club.
  • Synopsis: Studying and teaching Journalism
    Keywords: University of San Carlos; Society of the Divine Word; Student journalism; Kishwaukee College; Fulbright program
    Transcript: KEATH: Why did you choose to study journalism?

    SMITH: Well, I always wanted to write, and in my undergrad years, after I finished my degree at the University of San Carlos, I was designated, or I would say I was assigned, or at least promoted by the university vice president for publications to advise the student paper called Carolinian. University of San Carlos, my school, was older than University of Santo Tomas. It's a really old school run by SVD, Society of Divine Word, priest and missionaries, both from, I would say, from Germany and from China. It was a big organization, SVD. I was doing advising of school paper, and even then in my undergrad years, I was also involved with the school paper, even in high school I was involved with the school paper. I really wanted to be in journalism. Although my ultimate goal was to become a lawyer, (laughs) but that never happened. That's how I ended teaching especially journalism education teaching. I remember the first day that I came to the class, this was at Kishwaukee in 1974, and this was a news writing class. The students looked at me and they said, "You're a Smith, and you're teaching journalism?" I said, "Yes I'm a Smith and I'm teaching journalism". That lasted for twenty-seven years.

    KEATH: How involved were you with student journalism while you were a student here?

    SMITH: In terms of actually participating, like in the student paper? Not that involved. I wrote-- I forgot whether I wrote an editorial one time, letter to the editor. That was the only time, because I was consumed by my pursuance of my degree. I was given only one year to finish my masters, and then if I do not finish my masters, I have to return home and pay back the university which sponsored me. You see, with Fulbright, you have either individual grants or institutional grants. I came through an institutional grant from University of San Carlos with the intent of them opening a radio and TV station when I get back. I was taking five grad classes. We're talking of fifteen hours in one semester, and you know how that is, Matt, (laughs) five credit hours, no, five classes at three credit hours each, so that's fifteen.

    KEATH: How did you manage that?

    SMITH: Barely. (laughs) I would say stay up until two or three in the morning to study. It is part of our social fun too. During weekends, we would group together, this club, and we would study among ourselves. My other roommates also were grad students also in the same dilemma. Although with them, they didn't come under any scholarship. Scholarship from their parents probably, but not from any organization, not from Fulbright. The Fulbright, as you know, is instituted by the IIE, Institute of International Education, which is run by the State Department, and so we have to be conscious of that. That everything is on the books and you have to do this, you have to do this. That was my life when I was a student.

    KEATH: Looking back on that, that year where you were getting your masters and taking so many classes, just curious to date, what kinds of feelings thinking back on that evokes, because that sounds very stressful.

    SMITH: Very.

    KEATH: I'm just wondering if you could talk about what it was like at the time versus maybe when you look back on it, how do you remember it? How does it feel to remember that time in your life?

    SMITH: Looking back, I would say that, as I've said, my religion was my anchor. With all the stress that I have to go through in terms of the mental activities that I have to do doing papers, research papers and all that. As I've said, I just went to church every day to seek guidance from the Almighty.
  • Synopsis: Relationship with family in the Philippines
    Keywords: cold weather, martial law, letters, postage
    Transcript: At the same time, also thinking of home, because I left my mother and two siblings, my brother and my sister there, and also the climate in our country. We had martial law. We had martial law from '72, and it wasn't lifted until 1981. All those years, you're talking of almost nine years that we had. It was a stressful life during that time, stressful life. To top it all, in terms of dealing with the climate too. Oh gosh, I had to use two or three thermal underwears (laughs) to get a get ride with the bus, and as a matter of fact, they were teasing me because I used to take a cab from my area in Hillcrest to the journalism area (laughs) because I just couldn't wait for the bus. They would tease me, "You're wasting your money (laughs) with cab money". All the stresses of climate adjustment, readjustment and academic work all combined. Post major, I would say dilemma to my life. (pauses) By then, I think I was almost thirty, so I had enough common sense.

    KEATH: How did your relationship with your family change when you came to NIU?

    SMITH: Well, I was in constant communication with my mother then. I would write to them, and my mother would say, "Don't say anything critical in your letter because you never know if the post office is going to screen it and all that". I said, "No, I won't". I was very careful in my letters to them. My mother then, always the single mother of course because my father died. Let me see I came-- My father died in 1962. He died ten years before I came. He died when I was a graduating senior in high school. My mother was the sole earner, and my siblings were still in school. So I was very careful in that I would say criticizing our government, just in case my letters were going to be opened. (pauses) And during then, calling was very expensive overseas. So with my pension which was minimal, I had to limit myself to probably calling them once every two months, all the rest was just letters. By then, I think the postage was twenty-some cents. It wasn't, what, how much now? Fifty? Fifty-one or something? (laughs). That's how I managed. (silence)
  • Synopsis: Life after NIU
    Keywords: Kishwaukee College; DeKalb Women's Club; Philanthropy; NIU Alumni Association
    Transcript: KEATH: You touched on this a little bit, but I was hoping you can say more about how your time at NIU shaped your life after NIU?

    SMITH: After NIU, I finished my degree in towards the spring of '73, I think, and '74, when I formally finished it, I got married and started my job. It was a time of, I would say, actual work, work, work in the area. I was active with activities in the community, also with the college, and I played a critical role in the referendum that Kishwaukee College had. This was, I forgot now the years that they, Kishwaukee had a referendum, which was passed with tremendous success. Active in other organizations, the DeKalb/Sycamore Professional Club or something before, I didn't know what it has evolved into now. Speaking of club, now, I'm the president of the DeKalb Women's Club. My term expired last year, and because we have co-presidents, I am now director after serving as president of the Women's Club. In the Women's Club, we have three functions, giving scholarships and providing items to the Salvation Army, DeKalb Country Rehab and doing some readings with grade schools and elementary schools. Those are the three functions of the DeKalb Women's Club. I'm also commissioner of the housing authority of the county of DeKalb. This is my 19th year when I've been serving that board as a commissioner. Other organizations, I was active with the Chamber of Commerce and a lot of other organizations that I have forgotten. I was active with the Women's Club, The Family Service Agency, Hope Haven, Kishwaukee College Foundation, Kishwaukee Symphony, Main Street NIU Alumni Association. I co-directed the PR activities at Kishwaukee hospital in their campaign. I have received fortunately so many awards, including the NIU journalism Alumni Award, the DeKalb Rotary Club’s James Foster's Community Service Award, and a Salute to Heroes Award.

    KEATH: Could you say a little bit more about the NIU Alumni Association, what that is and what your involvement has been with that?

    SMITH: NIU Alumni Association is an organization of students who are active in their respective areas, and they paved the way for the other alums to do a lot of work with the Alumni Association. Now the Alumni Association is so involved and active doing a lot of things with the University in other chapters of the country. They travel now with other organizations, travel to different places when NIU athletic team would be playing games. Lately, they went to Vanderbilt and all that. NIU Alumni groups coordinate there. They have different chapters now. It's a well-coordinated system now with the NIU Alumni Association. I was a member of the Board then also. Both my husband and I are members of the Emeritus board. It has gone a long way.

    KEATH: What do you mean by that?

    SMITH: Well, it has improved, taken advances, so many advances. Because before we were just a group of like ten or twelve in the office and all that, but now it has expanded. You go to Chicago, you go to different areas in the community, different parts of the country that NIU Alumni is meeting. A case in point is what they did when they went to Vanderbilt. A lot of students went with them to do coordination with the Alumni Association.
  • Synopsis: Changes in university administration and instruction
    Keywords: accounting department; public administration; professors; quality of instruction; student enrollment
    Transcript: KEATH: How has NIU changed over the time that you've been involved with the university? What does that change look like?

    SMITH: Changes in terms of what? Administration or?

    KEATH: Anything that you've observed?

    SMITH: Leadership, of course, because now we have a woman president, and this is the first time that it has happened. Then the student population has decreased tremendously. I don't think NIU is part and parcel of that by itself, because all other universities in the state are undergoing the same upheaval, I would say, from twenty-five thousand students to now we have around sixteen-plus. Student population, in terms of concentration of the major also, the major areas of concentration for students. Most of the students now go to NIU for Accounting, because we're known for that, Accounting and Public Affairs. We have a very good masters in Public Administration program in the country. As a matter of fact, one of the former professors was on the Advisory Board of I think President – I don't know if it was President Ford, one of the Presidents because of our program, Public Administration, is highly touted in the country, as well as the Accounting program. Now, the Engineering program is also starting to gain some footing in the national scene, I would say. The quality of instruction obviously has improved tremendously. Of course, the College of Education, when NIU started as a Normal School, is the key to a lot of students who would like to come to Northern and to have their degree in education. Going back to that history that was in 1903, when a lot of Filipinos came to NIU to study education. The peace and order situation has tremendously improved with the leadership of Tom Phillips. I think those are the areas that I can see are gaining footage, I would say, compared to yesteryears.

    KEATH: When you say that the quality of instruction has improved, why do you think that is?

    SMITH: Because they have hired the topmost professors, and the quality of students too in terms of admission have really been defined very well.

    KEATH: You were a student, and very active and have been active in the Alumni Association. What is your involvement with the university? Have you always been this involved? What has your involvement with the university looked like? How has that changed over time?

    SMITH: I don't think it has changed over time. It has just diminished because of my age (laughs) and other involvements. I've always loved the university. I think my mantra is to give back to the university that gave me a lot of, I would say, life and activities. Gave me my husband, my family life, and my job. The quality of instruction, of course, has improved. Of course, during my time, we had the best professors in the journalism department. The Chair of my graduate committee was Dr. Granville Price. Dr. Granville Price was the former professor of Claudia Taylor, who was Mrs. Lyndon Johnson. He was also the former professor of Walter Cronkite. These are his former students, and I was glad to know that I was one of his former students. We had the best professors, and we still do, although with the re-adjustment or reallocating of the department renaming different now, it's still under the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    KEATH: You mentioned NIU has kind of developed a reputation for its accounting department and its Public Policy Department?

    SMITH: Public affairs.

    KEATH: Public Affairs department. What was NIU known for when you were a student?

    SMITH: Teaching. College of Education and their
  • Synopsis: Center for Southeast Asian Studies
    Keywords: Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Dancing, Culture
    Transcript: Center for Southeast Asian studies. It was ranked, I think forth during that time among centers for Southeast Asian studies. Largely because of the influence of Donn B Hart, who happened to give me away at the wedding. As a matter of fact, our only son and only child, his middle name is Donn, D-o-n-n. He was the one who was largely responsible for my coming. I met him in the Philippines when I was in the second phase of the application for Fulbright, and I met him there. I became very close to him. He was a cultural anthropologist who has written so many books about the Philippine also. His deceased wife was a librarian. The two of them really got along pretty well, and the areas of their research was in my area in Cebu and Dumaguete around the Visayas area, the region.

    KEATH: Could you clarify something for me?

    SMITH: Sure.

    KEATH: You studied journalism. The Center for South East Asian studies was a big draw of the University to you. Did you study through the center for Southeast Asian studies, or was it just the fact that there was an anthropologist you met in the Philippines from that department that put NIU on your radar?

    SMITH: The second reason.

    KEATH: Okay, so you were strictly a journalism student while you were here?

    SMITH: Correct, right. I did a lot of activities with the Southeast Asian studies program under students.

    KEATH: Could you say more about what that was, what that looked like?

    SMITH: In terms of doing social entertainment, dancing and entertaining during, during special events at the University as part of the Southeast Asian group, me being Asian. I capitalized on that.

    KEATH: Could you say a little bit more about how, how did you phrase it. About how you were welcomed by the students who weren't International students or perhaps weren't welcomed depending on what the case may be?

    SMITH: I remember during the first few meetings of one of my grad classes. I saw that a lot of students were concentrating in terms of seating in one area whereas I was the only one secluded in one area, and I noticed that. After the midterm, after we did our oral presentation, a lot of students started to be getting closer to me in terms of seating. I said, "I wonder why." I think they've changed their impression. Their social interaction was improved. A good probably portion of the students were educated but not cultured. That's the way I see it.

    KEATH: Could you say more about that distinction? How you understand that distinction?

    SMITH: Well, education is education, but not everyone, as I've said, who's educated is cultured in terms of knowing the different nuances of countries and the residents. That's how I see it.

    KEATH: What do you think the role of the university is in providing the education versus providing students the opportunity to become cultured?

    SMITH: I think it's a dual role. They can educate the students, at the same time, acculturize them only through actions or involvement. Whether not only with their classes, but other university’s activities. It's not just for the anthropology professors or history professors to do that. It's everybody's role to do that.

    KEATH: How good or bad a job do you think the university does it doing that?

    SMITH: I think the university is doing a great job, especially lately with our president.
  • Synopsis: NIU's relationship with Alumni
    Keywords: Emeritus Board, scholarships; NIU Alumni Association; DeKalb sesquicentennial; Dennis Barsema
    Transcript: The Alumni Association is also doing a magnificent job in doing that, in drawing former students of NIU back to the forward, I would say. Back to NIU by having brunch, I would say get-togethers during athletic activities all over the country, and also involving the Emeritus board. Granting I was on the board, I was on the board from, I think nine years. I was on the scholarship board. I chaired the scholarship award for nine years, the alumni. They are, I would say, involving us again, the Emiritus board, by letting us aware of what is really happening, which is a great thing that Reggie Bustinza is doing, and he is the executive director of the Alumni Association.

    KEATH: Could you say a little bit more about the work that the scholarship work does?

    SMITH: During my time, it has changed, because during my time, the scholarship board was composed of Alumni who wanted to be in that scholarship board. We would do our, I would say, screening steps by steps, and after one board member or two board members would do this, we would move it to the other board members. It was a long process. During that time, we had thirty-some applicants. Now we have probably almost a hundred applicants now in terms of screening. The screening now is automated. As a matter of fact, I talked to Pat Anderson, the Alumni Association, and she asked me two or three years ago if I could help do the screening in terms of its automated now into number and all that. There is no contact. During that time, we interviewed the actual finalists. That was eons ago. (laughs)

    KEATH: What else do you think deserves attention during this 125th anniversary of NIU?

    SMITH: I would say the collaboration that the university has with the community. You're coming to university activities because, I think, the city turned 150 years in nineteen – Sesquicentennial. When was that? I forgot. There was a sesquicentennial event. As a matter of fact, we have that mural in town. Obviously, sesquicentennial event of the city. 150 years and then 135 years of the-- The relationship, the common university relationship between the two really has to be concentrated because it's gone a long way. The sesquicentennial mural, you see it on top of – Eduardo’s as you come to town, that's the sesquicentennial mural. I was one of the thirteen represented there. The other one was Cindy Crawford. I forgot who else, but the mural is there. It's a little bit faded because that was in the '90s, but it's still there, the mural. I was chosen because, supposedly, I symbolize the fulfillment of dreams of most immigrants. DeKalb, NIU DeKalb, has gone a long way.

    KEATH: When you say that, what did it used to be like and what is it like now? Could you say what that transformation has (both talking at once; unintelligible)

    SMITH: In all aspects, In all aspects. Not only in terms of infrastructure with all the many buildings that have emerged. The ABC, you name it, the Barsema building. Not only infrastructure, but leadership. They're ranking among schools in terms of majors that they excel in, and some of the alumns who are proven themselves, not only to DeKalb, but also throughout the nation. I'm talking about Dennis Barsema, for example, who's, I would say, the icon for any alumns.

    KEATH: How so?

    SMITH: Because he has done tremendous job with-- He was in Silicon Valley before, and he was a former student here at Northern. He had a stuttering weakness. He stuttered, but now, he's completely fine, thanks to the speech pathology department for helping him then and all the benefits that he has given Northern, material benefits, I would say, and the claim and the notion by a lot of people of how his degree from Northern helped him.

    KEATH: Are there any other thoughts you'd like to give about your time at NIU, the evolution of your relationship to the school or anything else that we've touched on? Is there anything else that you think it's important that is stored as part of this oral history project?

    SMITH: Well, I do think that any person involved with Northern should think of giving back to the university what it has given them. Giving back should be the mantra. As I said to people who know me, after all these years, this is my, let me see, forty-seventh year in this country since I came. You give back to the university what they've given you. That I am thankful for. Many others continue this thought or idea or practice, giving back.

    KEATH: Well, Ms. Smith, thank you so much for sitting down and allowing us to record this interview. I really appreciate it.

    SMITH: You're welcome.

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