Hall of Fame Member Biographies

Jeanne Hoffman Smith

Few individuals have been so generous with their time, devotion, and educational community investments as has been Jeanne Hoffman Smith, and few states have been so lucky as Oklahoma has been to have such persons in their midst. Born one month before the start of the Great Depression in 1929, Jeanne Hoffman Smith first attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, majoring in English; she later earned a B.A. in Psychology in 1974 from Oklahoma City University. Shortly thereafter she earned a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Louisville. She became a staff member at the Central Oklahoma Mental Health Center in 1977 and in the same year she opened a private practice in clinical social work, which she continues to this day. She completed six years of study with the Colorado Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, receiving a scholarship degree in 1999.  For her efforts supporting mental health causes, Jeanne Hoffman Smith was bestowed the Distinguished Service Award in 2001 from the Mental Health Association of Central Oklahoma, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 from the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and in 2011 became the Treasures for Tomorrow Honoree of the Oklahoma Heath Center Foundation. And this was in her professional career; added to that list of achievements was her investment in endeavors supporting higher education in Oklahoma. She advocates the centrality of the liberal arts in the colleges and universities, and she has especially worked to enhance appreciation of film and literature. At Oklahoma City University, she created and endowed the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature; created one of the most expansive collections of international, independent and documentary films for the OCU Library; and sponsored a poetry series bringing national Poet Lauriettes and Pulitzer prize winners to OCU.  The Thatcher Hoffman Smith Poetry Series is now in its sixteenth year; and she has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Oklahoma City University Film Institute, now in its thirty-third year. At OU, she has endowed a professorship in film, helped establish a film degree program in the College of Arts & Sciences that brings in independent directors from around the world, and she has endowed an award that celebrates the creative process, recognizing the power of original thought. For these activities, she has been awarded the Governor Arts Award in 1999, the Distinguished Service Award in 2008 from the Oklahoma Film and Video Studies Society, and the Distinguished Service Award in 2006 from the OU College of Arts and Sciences. For these wonderful activities, the OHEHS thanks Jeanne Hoffman Smith and welcomes her into this year’s inductees into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame.