Smith honored as Distinguished Alumnus at Wayland Baptist University

Release Date: February 23, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – Christa Smith was honored for 40 years of service in the classroom and beyond by Wayland Baptist University, presented the Distinguished Lifetime Service Alumni Award on Friday during homecoming chapel.

A native of Vietz, Germany, Smith came to America as a foreign exchange high school student after World War II, returned to Germany and met her husband, Don, while he was stationed there with the military. They eventually came to Wayland to pursue their college education.

Smith graduated from Wayland in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in English and foreign languages and then received two master’s degrees from Texas Tech in English in comparative literature (1967) and German (1969). She also did post-graduate work in comparative literature at Tech from 1980-83.

Currently an associate professor of modern languages and Joachim Professor of Languages and Literature, she teaches English, German and French. Smith has taught English at Wayland’s campus in the African nation of Kenya every summer since 2000 and also has taught in Alaska. At Wayland, she is presently serving on the Judicial Committee and the University Research Committee.

Active in the community, she teaches an adult women’s Sunday school class at First Baptist Church and through the class participates in Meals on Wheels, the Angel Tree Christmas, and the Prison Ministry. She has served on several committees for the church as well as for Soroptimist International of Plainview. She participates in Soroptimist’s many charitable projects, including Happy Feet, a program which provides shoes for needy children, and the Hale County Crisis Center. 

Smith has been a volunteer at the Lions Club International Children’s Camp in Kerrville, preparing the camp in March for its summer activities; is a volunteer for the Read First program for local first graders; has taught English as a Second Language; is a member of the Chamber of Commerce; and is a speaker for numerous women’s clubs and organizations on subjects ranging from the Kenya project to Germany and other European or international subjects. She receives numerous requests each year from the  campus and community for German and French translations, especially from music students.

She and her husband of 51 years have three children – all WBU graduates – and three grandchildren.