USCB to award honorary degrees to two educators

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Two former U.S. naval aviators who went on to distinguished careers in academe will be honored by the University of South Carolina Beaufort on Friday, May 2 at 6 p.m. when USCB conducts its 2014 Commencement exercises in the Helen and Brantley Harvey Plaza on the Hilton Head Gateway campus.

Lawrence S. Rowland, Ph.D., will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Arthur K. Smith, Ph.D., will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Education. Both educators played prominent roles in the administration of USCB or the University of South Carolina. They will be honored during the Commencement ceremony. In addition, Dr. Smith will deliver the commencement address.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in history, Dr. Rowland enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1964. He completed Officer Candidate School, was commissioned an officer, and then went on to flight school to train as a navigator. For several years, he carried out Cold War, long-range, high-altitude photographic missions over Cuba and the Eastern European countries of the Soviet bloc.

Dr. Rowland earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of South Carolina in 1971 and was appointed Assistant Director of USC-Beaufort, then an extension center of the University of South Carolina. For more than a decade, he served in the university’s administration, creating the financial aid program, recruiting minority students, directing the graduate teacher certification program, organizing classes for U.S. Marines stationed in Beaufort, and teaching three History courses. He also found time to earn a Ph.D. in History at USC in 1978.

After leaving the administration in 1983, Dr. Rowland returned to his first love — teaching. He remained on the faculty until 1999, when he retired and was designated Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Rowland is the author of a three-part history of Beaufort County covering the period from 1514 to 2006.

Dr. Arthur K. Smith won an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and marine engineering, in 1959. He served first as an officer on a U.S. Navy destroyer, then completed flight training to fly photographic surveillance missions over Russian ships entering and leaving Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Dr. Smith earned a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Latin American Studies at the University of New Hampshire. He then entered Cornell University on a Herbert H. Leman Fellowship to pursue his doctorate. In 1970, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree specializing in International Politics and Law, Comparative Politics and Latin American Studies.

Dr. Smith devoted the next 18 years of his academic career to the State University of New York-Binghamton.

In 1988, he was named Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of South Carolina. He was appointed Interim President of the university in July 1990 and served in that capacity until March 1991.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Smith has held the rank of full professor, with tenure, at four universities and president or interim president at three.

Dr. Rowland and his wife live in Beaufort. Dr. Smith and his wife live on Hilton Head Island.