UVa-Wise to rededicate Smiddy Hall on June 11
of Virginia’s College at Wise will rededicate Smiddy Hall during a June 11 ceremony
in honor of Joseph C. “Papa Joe” Smiddy, the College’s first chancellor.
Virginia President Teresa Sullivan will join UVa-Wise Chancellor Donna
Henry and other officials for the ceremony, set for 1 p.m. outside the
renovated Smiddy Hall. Chancellor Emeritus Smiddy and his family will also
attend the rededication. The public is invited to attend the ceremony. Tours of
the facility will be offered following the rededication.
1972 as the administration building, Smiddy Hall was officially named in 1985 on
the occasion of Smiddy’s retirement after 30 years of leadership and service to
the College. Smiddy Hall was renovated in 2011 to house faculty and
administrative offices as well as classrooms. A new Information Technology wing
was added to the building during the renovation.
native of Jellico, Tenn., helped establish Clinch Valley College, now known as UVa-Wise.
After his service in World War II, the educator, storyteller and traditional
Appalachian musician, began his career as a high school teacher, band director and
principal in the Lee County Public Schools. He was hired as the College’s first
biology professor in 1954 and later served as dean and director of the College
prior to being named its first chancellor.
He cultivated the fledgling College from a two-year institution to a four-year college. Under his leadership, CVC was the first state college or university founded in Virginia without a policy of racial exclusion and was the first to recruit actively among all races. He upheld the College’s mission of making higher education available to all regardless of financial circumstances.