Estus Smith retired from the Kettering Foundation after serving 18 years as program officer, director of operations, vice president and chief operating officer, and, most recently, vice president and chief operating officer emeritus and adviser to the president. He has dedicated over forty years to working in the areas of education and community service, formerly serving as vice president for Academic Affairs (1973-1984) and dean of the School of Liberal Studies (1968-formerly serving as vice president for Academic Affairs (1973-1984) and dean of the School of Liberal Studies formerly serving as vice president for Academic Affairs (1973-1984) and dean of the School of Liberal Studies (1968-1972) at Jackson State University, Jackson, MS.
Smith currently serves on the boards of trustees for KnowledgeWorks Foundation and Alliance for Community Schools, Inc. He is the former chairman of the board of trustees for Central State University (2001-2006), and a former member of the board of directors for the Dayton Council on World Affairs, the executive board of the Miami Valley Leadership Academy, the advisory board for the Senior Resource Connection of the Visiting Nurses Association, and the steering committee for the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory’s “National Center for Family & Community Connections with Schools.” Smith holds memberships in Beta Beta Beta, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Pi Phi, and several other national and local organizations.
Smith is in the Jackson State University Sports Hall of Fame for both football and basketball. In 1981 he was cited by the Mississippi House for winning a distinguished service award from the National Governors Association and, in 1995, by the National Conference for Community and Justice for his outstanding service to the greater Dayton (OH) community. In 2002, he received the ten top African American males award from Parity 2000 in Dayton.
Smith received BS, MM, and PhD degrees in music from Jackson State University, Indiana University, and the University of Iowa, respectively. He was married to the late Dorothy Triplett Smith, and has one son, Donald Gregory Smith.