Linfield mourns death of Professor Scott Smith

Scott Smith, professor of historyA memorial service honoring Scott Smith, Linfield College professor of history, will be held Saturday, July 29, at 4 p.m. in Portland, with a reception to follow. Please send an email to for the location.

Smith, widely recognized as an outstanding teacher, successful scholar, campus leader and true intellectual, passed away July 22 following a long and valiant fight against cancer. He served as a professor at Linfield since 2002.

Smith was committed to academic excellence. He received the Edith Green Distinguished Professor Award in 2016, recognizing a senior faculty member who has worked to enhance Linfield’s commitment to academic excellence through their dedication to the intellectual growth and academic success of students within and beyond the classroom. He exemplified these qualities with his enthusiasm and talent.

Praised for his teaching and mentorship skills, Smith inspired and challenged students, shepherding them into post-graduation scholarships and grants and into outstanding graduate programs. He also took on a central role in shaping the Linfield history curriculum and leading in both the history department and European studies.

Throughout his professional career, Smith published numerous articles and a critically acclaimed book, “Captives of Revolution: The Socialist Revolutionaries and the Bolshevik Dictatorship, 1918-1923.” Other projects included an annotated translation of Boris Savinkov’s “Memoirs of a Terrorist.” He served as the chair of the history department, on the General Education Review Committee, as the Faculty Executive Committee chair and as a member of the Executive Planning Committee for the Strategic Plan. He held a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

“We will always be thankful to Scott Smith for the wonderful things he did at Linfield,” said Thomas L. Hellie, Linfield College president. “We should all be proud that he was our colleague and cared so deeply about our college and our students.”

The family has created a student award in Smith’s name at Linfield College. Contributions can be made at (choose “other” and write in Scott Smith).