Ken Smith honors late wife with scholarships to help students tackle big challenges
Justice. Equality. Law. Order. Equity.
The bold values presiding over the Kenneth L. Smith and Theresa Kathryn (Klein) Smith Magna Carta Courtroom echo throughout the historic Federal Hall and across the campus of Indiana State. Their magnitude, felt in every crevice of the University, is further imparted to Sycamore students through the generosity of Indiana State alumnus Ken Smith.
As a child growing up in Terre Haute, Ken visited the Federal Building, then home to a federal courtroom and the Terre Haute Post Office, on an elementary school field trip. The magnificent features left a lasting impression on Ken, and now, the space will have a similarly transformative impact on students because of scholarships Ken created.
Ken’s kindness honors his beloved family members and their passions. He follows the lead of his late wife, Terri, a licensed CPA who dedicated her career to leading global companies and helping mentor college students looking to work in accounting. Ken too carries an ardent passion for higher education, having taught finance and economics at the university level for 42 years. His scholarship will provide opportunities to graduate students in finance, accounting, and history, and undergraduate students in economics.
“The historic significance symbolizes the cross section of interdisciplinary interests of the Smiths. Ken’s vision for his gifts are a fitting tribute to his family and will greatly benefit our graduate and undergraduate students for generations to come.”
-Christopher Olsen, ISU Provost and VP of Academic Affairs
Ken also wished to celebrate his father, who worked in the Post Office for more than 30 years. Delivering on his promise, Ken’s additional contribution to ISU created the Richard W. Smith Sr. and Dorothy Smith Postmaster’s Conference Room, honoring Ken’s father in the space where he spent much of his career.
“We believe it is a wonderful opportunity to recognize his extraordinary philanthropic gesture by naming this significant historical landmark on our campus and in the Terre Haute community in their honor.”
– Deborah J. Curtis, ISU President
In the Kenneth L. Smith and Theresa Kathryn (Klein) Smith Magna Carta Courtroom, tradition meets prosperity. The historic features of the former federal courtroom blend seamlessly into the careers of Indiana State students. Ken Smith’s childhood memories and career successes are infused into his scholarships, enabling Sycamores to establish their own memories, traditions, and values. Legends create a brighter future for students – and that is the bold essence of Indiana State.
About Ken Smith:
Ken Smith grew up among the bustling hub of downtown Terre Haute, visiting local landmarks on school trips. After graduating from Gerstmeyer High School in 1966, Smith attended ISU with the goal of becoming a ninth grade teacher. Ken earned ISU bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social sciences in 1972 and 1973. He went on to earn a master’s in economics from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Riverside. Smith taught for over 42 years at institutions including the University of North Texas, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas at Dallas. He has more than 30 publications that have received over 500 citations from academics in 33 countries from six continents. Ken’s late wife, Terri, graduated from the University of North Texas, earning the distinction of magna cum laude with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in tax accounting. Ken and Terri were married for 32 years prior to Terri’s passing in 2019. Ken honors Terri’s passion for giving to others, especially students, through his impact at Indiana State University.