Mary Baldwin College Trustee H. Gordon Smyth and his wife Mary Beth Reed Smyth ’47 established the Smyth Leadership Lectures in 1997. Speakers have included Geraldine Ferraro, former U.S. congresswoman and first woman nominated for vice president on a national party ticket; Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut to travel in space; Louise McNamee ’70, advertising executive; Cokie Roberts, political commentator for National Public Radio and ABC; anthropologist and writer Mary Catherine Bateson; and Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes.

Current and past Smyth Leadership Lectures

The Smyth Business Program, also begun in 1997, provides funding to bring regional and national business leaders to campus for public lectures and visits to the classroom or to send students to visit leaders at their organizations.

Presenters sponsored by Smyth Business Funds include individuals such as:

  • Mr. Delos Smith, The Conference Board, Senior Business Analyst
  • Dr. Emily Sterrett, President of Performance Works, LLC and author of The Manager’s Pocket Guide to Emotional Intelligence
  • Dr. John Whitlow and Dr. Donna Klepper, Leadership Consultants: A Case Study in Organizational Culture: Plow and Hearth from Hippie Hardware to Corporate Culture.
  • Ms. Lyn McDermid, Chief Information Officer, Dominion Virginia Power, “Women succeeding in traditionally male-dominated industries/work environments”
  • Ms. Susan Timmon, President/CEO of Lead Virginia
  • Ms. Elizabeth Preddy, former global marketing executive for Coca-Cola
  • Dr. Mary Ann Leeper, President and COO, The Female Health Company, “Development and Distribution of the Female Condom”
  • Dr. Anthony Smith, Managing Director of the American Shakespeare Center, “Shakespeare and the Spirit of Innovation”
  • Mr. Donald Asher, Career Development Expert, “How to Land Your Dream Job or Internship” and “Getting Started on the Right Foot”
  • Alison Kaufmann, MBC (’07) Energy Conservation Specialist, Dominion Virginia Power; Jordan Armstrong, MBC (’04) P & G Global Consumer & Market Research Manager, Pantene Pro-V brand; and Ann Albrecht, JMU (’08), Environmental Project Assistant, Perrin Quarles Associates; Panel Discussion: Young Professional Women and Their Perspectives on Sustainability Initiatives

Smyth Business Funds have also supported in-house workshops on sexual harassment education and prevention and diversity awareness. In addition, they have supported students’ transportation costs and incidentals to the Annual Ethics Conference sponsored by the Men of the Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, as well as an annual ethics contest on the MBC campus.