In recognition of his generous financial support, the Delta State University School of Nursing was officially renamed the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing during a dedication ceremony in 2009.
It was during that ceremony Smith made the gift and pledge of $2.1 million dollars planned in his estate and at the time of the dedication ceremony it was believed this gift would be strictly for nursing scholarships.
However it was recently discovered that this gift is to the nursing program and can be used in any aspect of the program.
"This gift from Robert Smith's estate, the largest in Delta State's history. It is transformational for our school of nursing. It will allow us to make changes and program additions that will allow the school of nursing to serve our students and the delta is superior ways," said Delta State President Bill LaForge.
Smith was a graduate of Cleveland High School and he attended Mississippi State University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the school of agriculture.
Smith also had a distinguished military career where he courageously served this country in World War II. At the conclusion of the war, he received the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal and was discharged as a First Lieutenant.
Smith was a lifelong and devoted member of the First Methodist Church of Cleveland.
Smith was actively involved in Delta State University, where he was both a member of the Delta State University Foundation Board of Directors and the local Wesley Foundation’s Board of Directors, which is a student organization sponsored by the United Methodist Church.
LaForge expressed his gratitude towards Smith and said, "The Delta State community is deeply grateful to Mr. Smith, and we will honor his memory by ensuring that our school of nursing reflects excellence."