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Thomas W. Smith Endowed Scholarship in Kinesiology

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Recipients shall be undergraduate students pursing a degree in Kinesiology. 

About The Smith Family

This endowed scholarship is made possible by a gift from Mary Smith in honor of her beloved son, Thomas W. Smith. Mary and her husband, Woodrow W. Smith, met while attending high school in Chicago. “Woody” graduated from Tilden Technical High School in 1932 and Mary graduated from Fenger High School in 1933. Both Mary and Woody were athletes and met while running for the same street car. Their first date was at an ice cream stand near Mary’s home. 

After graduating from high school, Woody joined his family in Coldwater, Michigan and Mary joined him a year later when they were married at the United Methodist Church in Coldwater. Woody’s career started in sales and ended as General Manager and Vice President for Quality Springs, a local company that made springs for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Woody passed away on March 1, 1991. 

Mary and Woody were blessed with two children, James, born in 1938, and Tom, born in 1942. From an early age, it was apparent that Tom possessed extraordinary athletic skill. In high school he played at the varsity level for four years in football (quarterback), in baseball (catcher) and in basketball. He graduated from Coldwater High School in 1961, and was immediately signed to play for the Milwaukee Braves. After two years, injuries ended his professional career in baseball. Turning down an offer to play for the Los Angeles Angels, Tom decided to enroll at Michigan State University. He received two degrees from MSU – a bachelor’s in Physical Education in 1967 and a master’s in Health and Physical Education in 1971. While attending MSU, and after graduating, Tom helped coach the MSU baseball team under Coach Daniel W. Litwhiler. For thirteen seasons, from 1983 to 1995, Tom proudly led the MSU baseball team as head coach.

This scholarship award honors Coach Smith’s distinguished career as the baseball coach at Michigan State University, his alma mater.

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