ISU alumnus gifts university $1 million in scholarship money to honor late wife

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — An Indiana State University alumnus has donated $1 million to the university in honor of his late wife; the money will be used to fund scholarships for students studying accounting, economics, finance and history, ISU announced Friday.

Kenneth Smith, a Terre Haute native, taught college economics and finance for 42 years before retiring. Smith met his wife, Theresa Klein Smith, at the University of North Texas and the two were married for 32 years before her death in 2019.

He said his wife’s life is what inspired him to make the donation.

“She was the sweetest girl in the world,” Smith said. “I am following Terri’s lead. We had a good life. We ended up with an economic surplus and want to leave it behind to help others.”

The scholarships being funded by Smith will be available for any graduate students in finance, accounting or history to apply for, as well undergraduate economics students. They will be available starting in the 2022-2023 school year, the university said in a news release.

As a result of the donation, the university also announced it will be naming a room on the second floor of the Federal Building, the Magna Carta Courtroom, after the couple. A celebration honoring the couple will be in September in the Kenneth L. Smith and Theresa Kathryn (Klein) Smith Magna Carta Courtroom.

“We are thankful to Ken Smith for his generous gift to Indiana State University,” CEO of the ISU Foundation Andrea Angel said. “His bold commitment to our institution will enhance opportunities for students to earn their degrees and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

In addition to the naming of the Magna Carta room, ISU also said it will be naming the Postmaster’s Conference Room on the first floor of the Federal Building after Richard Smith Sr. and Dorothy Smith, Kenneth’s parents. Smith’s father worked in the ISU Post Office for more than 30 years, the university said.

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