The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Alexander H. Smith
Regents' Proceedings 18

Alexander H Smith, Professor of Botany, has retired from active faculty status as of June 30, 1975, after a distinguished career as an administrator, a teacher, and an investigator of the evolution and systematics of the higher fungi.

A native of Wisconsin, Professor Smith took undergraduate work at Lawrence College, Appleton, Wisconsin, before coming to Michigan where he obtained his M.A. in 1929, and his Ph.D. in 1933. He served as Assistant Curator in the Herbarium from 1934 to 1940, Associate Curator from 1940 to 1945, Botanist from 1945 to 1959, and Director from 1959 to 1972. He was appointed Associate Professor in the Department of Botany in 1949 and Professor in 1956.

He served as President of the Mycological Society of America in 1950, and was Editor-in-chief of Mycologia, the Society's journal, from 1945 to 1950. He was President of the Michigan Academy of Science during 1966-67, and in 1970-71, he participated in the Science Seminar Series of the joint center for graduate study supported by Oregon State University, University of Washington, and Washington State University. He is a past President of the Michigan Botanical Club and past Chairman of the Michigan Natural Areas Council. The Botanical Society of America in 1969 conferred upon him the certificate of merit for his "prodigious work in the systematics of the higher fungi." In 1974-75, he served as President of the Research Club, University of Michigan. The Oregon Mycological Society has named their annual fall foray The Alexander H. Smith Foray.

Professor Smith's influence in the field of Mycology has extended for many years to professionals and non-professionals alike. Many of the best known teachers and research workers in this country and abroad have been his students or have benefited from association with him. He also has been active in adult education in Michigan, and in the popularization of the study of fungi by amateurs. His name, more than any other, is known throughout America as that of a leader in mycological studies.

The Regents now salute this distinguished botanist and mycologist by naming him Professor Emeritus of Botany.