Former President of Trenholm State Marion D. Smiley Dies - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Former President of Trenholm State Marion D. Smiley Dies

 The following is a press release.

Former President of Trenholm State Marion D. Smiley Dies

 

Montgomery, AlabamaMr. Marion D. Smiley, president emeritus of H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College in Montgomery, passed away on Saturday, April 24, 2010. He served as second president of the former Trenholm State Technical College from 1970-1981. He was a remarkable educator who guided the college through a tenuous period after the untimely death of its first president.  Because of a federal court order in 1970, the two state technical colleges located in Montgomery were experiencing major shifts in program offerings and personnel.      

 

During his eleven-year tenure at the institution that was later designated as a Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Mr. Smiley was responsible for numerous major accomplishments, including: transformation of an institution that started out as a "trade school" to a bona fide two-year college from the Commission on Occupational Education Institutions of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The deceased president is credited with being the driving force behind the preservation of the practical nursing program on the Trenholm campus, which later proved to be the stepping stone for that college to launch several other allied health training programs. Under his leadership, the accounting and stenography/office technology programs started offering associate degrees; a new dental assisting technology program and an emergency medical technology program were initiated, and a comprehensive allied health occupations classroom building was erected. He worked hard to maintain a strong presence of construction, automotive training, plumbing, and industrial electricity at the college in west Montgomery. The night school offerings at the college expanded phenomenally during Smiley's administration and the college initiated the ‘Special Services for Disadvantaged' and the ‘Educational Talent Search' federal TRIO projects. During that period, the college also took the initiative to successfully pursue a Minority Institutions Science Improvement Program with funding from the National Science Foundation. 

 

With competition from another public technical college within eight miles of his institution, Mr. Smiley was always vigilant of public scrutiny and operated the college with fiscal prudence that left the college with adequate funds even during times of proration.  Mr. Smiley had a remarkable ability to connect with students as well as employees in a warm, accessible and down-to-earth manner. He was like a surrogate father to many students, paying their tuition and buying books out of his own pocket when public funds were not available. His famous saying to faculty and staff of the college was for them to put students first and to "always have the milk of human kindness running through your veins."  Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2010, at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church with the Reverend Michael Thurman officiating.

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