With great sadness, Lake Erie College announces the passing of former president, Clodus Ray Smith. Smith passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, August 14, 2021. He was 93 years old.
Born on the eve of the Great Depression in rural Oklahoma, he was gifted with tremendous energy, focus, and intelligence. His career in higher education led him to the presidency of two colleges, including Lake Erie College from 1986 to 1992. During his tenure at LEC, the college formed a partnership to enable Lakeland grads to apply their credits toward a four-year degree at LEC. Smith also traveled to Japan to re-establish a relationship between LEC and Kobe College, and LEC offered Japanese as a course for the first time. Smith oversaw the athletic teams nickname change to the Storm.
Clodus was a creative thinker whose passion for teaching, and bold ideas touched thousands of lives over seven decades of service. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Clodus and Pauline (Chaat) Smith Endowed Lectureship in American Studies at Cameron University. To watch the live stream service or share condolences, visit