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Louise Smith ’77 named Faculty Emerita

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Thank you, Louise!

Longtime member of the Antioch College faculty and staff, the incomparable Louise Smith ’77 retired following the 2019–20 academic year. Louise touched the lives of countless Antiochians in the classroom and beyond through her 25 years of service.

In recognition of her teaching and broad range of other service to the College, the Antioch Board of Trustees approved a nomination from the faculty that Louise Smith be named Faculty Emerita. A virtual celebration for the campus community was held on Tuesday, November 10. In introductory remarks at the event, Kevin McGruder, vice president for Academic Affairs and associate professor of History, reflected on the many ways that Louise had worked with him since he arrived at Antioch in 2012, from planning student trips, to directing a performance of “The Meeting,” portraying a fictional encounter between Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. He noted that in every situation she always prioritized the needs of students.

A writer, performer, educator, and therapist, Louise joined the Antioch College faculty in 1994, serving through closure in 2008. She taught and counselled at the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute, and in 2011 was named the first Dean of Community Life for the newly Independent Antioch College. Louise returned to the faculty in 2014 as Associate Professor of Performance and taught a wide range of courses. Over the last six years she has served as Chair of the Arts Division, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, Chair of the Senior Reflection Paper Committee, and served on the Academic Progress Review Committee, and on the Faculty Personnel Review Committee.

“We wish Louise well and heartfully acknowledge her many years of mindful inspired teaching and mentorship to Antioch students and her exceptional citizenship within the College’s community,” says President Tom Manley.

Louise’s professional accomplishments are many. Among them, she is the winner of an Obie Award in 2003 for her work in A Painted Snake in a Painted Chair, and was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 1988 for Best Female Lead in the film Working Girls. She toured nationally and internationally for 11 years in Ping Chong and Company—with collaborative productions that incorporated media and movement—and received a 1990 Bessie Award for her work in Ping Chong’s Brightness. She has appeared in numerous works across the country including solo pieces she wrote and performed. Louise is recipient of a Jerome Fellowship in Playwriting from the Playwrights’ Center in Minneapolis, an NEA Collaborative Fellowship, and two Ohio Arts Council Artist’s Excellence Awards among other honors. She holds a BA in Theater from Antioch College, an IMA in Playwriting from Antioch University, and an MSEd from University of Dayton in Community Counseling.

Tributes to Louise

The Antiochian community is invited to share reminiscences which will be compiled for Louise. Send your submissions to or Antioch College, Office of Communications, One Morgan Place, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. A selection will also be published in a future issue of The Antiochian (please indicate if you prefer for your submission to be private or if it may be shared publicly).