Gloria R. Smith, the former dean of the nursing schools at the University of Oklahoma and Wayne State University, has died in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was 78 years old.
Dr. Smith was a graduate of Wayne State University and began her career in 1955 as a public health nurse in Detroit. She went on to earn a master of public health degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Oklahoma, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities in Cincinnati.
Dr. Smith was the first nurse to be named director of the Michigan Department of Public Health. After serving as dean at Wayne State, in 1991 she was appointed coordinator of health programs for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek. She was promoted to vice president of the foundation in 1995 and served in that role until her retirement in 2001.
Dean Smith was a member of the Institute of Medicine, the National League of Nursing, and the National Black Nurses Association.