Arthur C. Smith Award

Arthur C. Smith Award

The Arthur C. Smith Award was established in 1996 on the occasion of Dean Smith’s retirement from the position of Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs. The award honors his service and is presented to a member of the MIT faculty for meaningful contributions and devotion to undergraduate student life and learning at MIT.

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Arthur C. Smith
Arthur C. Smith, an expert in the field of solid-state physics, began his career at MIT in 1959 as an electrical engineering faculty member. He spent the next 50 years at MIT as an innovative educator, trusted advisor, thoughtful leader, and advocate for students. He was dean for undergraduate and student affairs from 1991 to 1994 and chair of the faculty from 1983 to 1985. Born in Oklahoma in 1929, Professor Smith earned a B.S. in physics at the University of Kansas in 1951, and went on to Harvard, where he earned an A.M. and a Ph.D. in physics in 1954 and 1958, respectively. Art was known for being a transformative force in shaping MIT’s approach to student life and learning.

Past Award Recipients


  • Not Awarded


  • Amy Glasmeier, Urban Studies and Planning


  • Professor Raul Radovitzky, Aeronautics and Astronautics


  • Professor John Essigmann, Biological Engineering


  • Professor Emily Richmond Pollock, Music and Theater Arts


  • Professor Will Broadhead, History


  • Professor Daniel Jackson, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science


  • Professor Shankar Raman ‘86, Literature


  • Professor Rebecca Saxe, Brain and Cognitive Sciences


  • Professor Anne E.C. McCants, History


  • Professor Samuel Allen, Department of Materials Science and Engineering


  • Professor John Winston Belcher, Department of Physics


  • Professor J. Kim Vandiver, Department of Mechanical Engineering