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NACUA's Distinguished Service Award

Mary Anne Smith - 2012

A 1977 graduate of Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law, Mary Anne Smith began her career as the first in-house attorney at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and has remained working for her alma mater since. Mary Anne received a B.S. in Mathematics from Mundelein College, an M.S. in Mathematics from IIT and a J.D. from IIT/Chicago Kent College of Law. Prior to attending law school, Mary Anne was a high school and community college math teacher. In 1981, she became university counsel and since 1991 has served as vice president and general counsel for IIT, managing all legal affairs for the university. 

In her role as vice president and general counsel, Mary Anne also serves as the secretary of the IIT corporation, as vice president and general counsel of IIT Research Institute, and is responsible for insurance and risk management for the university, as well as affirmative action. Mary Anne is the Chair of the Diversity and Quality of Work Life Committees at IIT. She has received the Julie Beveridge Award in recognition of her commitment to IIT and its community. She has also received a Distinguished Service Award from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Exelon Outstanding Corporate Counsel Award from the Chicago Bar Foundation. 

Her legacy of service, commitment, and dedication extends to NACUA, which she joined in 1977. She has served on the NACUA Board of Directors from 1986-1989 and as NACUA Secretary from 1998-2001. Mary Anne has also volunteered on numerous NACUA committees including: the Committee on Legal Writing Competition, Committee on Publications, Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Committee on Site Selection, Committee on Membership and Member Services, Common on Program for the Annual conference, Committee on Arrangements for the Annual Conference, Committee on Site Oversight, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Professional Development, Committee on Finance and Audit, Committee on Nominations and Elections, Committee on Honors and Awards, Committee on Board Operations, Task Force on Honors and Awards, Task Force on Membership Eligibility for For-Profit Institutions, Work Group on Local Arrangements and the Advisory Group on Continued Engagement of Long-Term NACUA members. 

She has attended over 30 NACUA Annual Conferences and 30 CLE workshops. She has served as a speaker and moderator at several NACUA educational programs. She has also authored an article in The Journal of College and University Law

She is described by her NACUA colleagues as a dependable professional with a wide knowledge, good judgment and collegial working style. Her colleagues noted that Mary Anne can not only be counted on to give a presentation when needed but that they are always informative, well researched, and well presented. 

NACUA is pleased to recognize Mary Anne Smith as a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding and exemplary service to the Association, most especially for her service to the Board of Directors.