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 SRU alumna bequests $50,000 to physical education department 



December 11, 2009

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


SRU alumna bequests $50,000 to physical education department      


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Marie Lower Smith, a 1938 Slippery Rock University physical education graduate, clearly loved and respected her alma mater. In her will she left a sizable gift, the first $50,000 is already available to the University's physical education department.

           Smith, who died July 3, 2008, at age 93 in Stuart, Fla., majored in physical education at SRU and went on to teach physical education for many years at Edison High School in Minneapolis, Minn.

           Her will earmarked a portion of her estate for SRU's physical education department to be used to support whatever projects are most needed.

           "The gift was certainly magnanimous, and clearly shows what she thought of our physical education department and its programs. I think her gift and her thoughts speak highly for the quality of our department and her interest in education through the physical area," said Betsy McKinley, chair of SRU's physical education department.

           "Our department has decided not to have a knee-jerk response to this special gift. We will carefully consider ways to use the funds to do service that gives credit to Mrs. Smith. We want to be forward thinking in ways to use the money to improve our program for the benefit of our students."

           Smith, whose husband, William, preceded her in death, was an active golfer and American Red Cross volunteer. She was a lifetime member of the SRU Alumni Association and had attended alumni events in Florida following her retirement. She had also contributed to SRU over the years. 

           Smith earned a master's degree at the University of Maryland in 1939.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.


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