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First female president in KSU history has died

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Posted at 9:45 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-29 21:45:34-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The first female president of Kentucky State University has passed away.

Dr. Mary L. Smith was the 14th president in KSU history, and served in that role from 1991 to 1998,

During her tenure, accredited master's programs were added for public administration and aquaculture.

Dr. Smith also oversaw the building of the William Exum Athletic Center, the Cooperative Extension Building, and the establishment of the Center for Diversity and the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans.

"There are no words to express the enormity of losing a chain breaker, like President Smith. Mary was more than just a pioneer — she was an incredible person. She was admired and known to many as a thoughtful, thorough, and well-organized administrator and educator. Mary devoted her life to the pursuit of knowledge and public service," said current KSU President Dr. M. Christopher Brown.

Funeral arrangements have not been formalized at this time. Dr. Smith was 84 years old.