PIKEVILLE – The University of Pikeville has established a scholarship in the name of acclaimed poet Effie Waller Smith to support an exceptional UPIKE student majoring in English.
The daughter of former slaves, Smith was born in 1879 and grew up on Chloe Creek in Pike County. After earning a teacher certificate at the Kentucky Normal School for Colored Persons (now Kentucky State University), she taught school at the Perry Cline High School in Pikeville.
Smith’s published work, which began appearing in newspapers in 1902, comprised three volumes of poetry: “Songs of the Months” (1904), “Rhymes From the Cumberland” (1904), and “Rosemary and Pansies” (1909). Her work also appeared in Harper’s Monthly. She was inducted into the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame in 2015.
For reasons unknown, Smith published her last poem in 1917. In 1918, she moved along with her mother to Wisconsin where she remained until her death in 1960.
In addition to majoring in English, students must have completed 60 credit hours and maintained a 3.5 grade point average to qualify for the scholarship. Students interested in applying for the Effie Waller Smith Scholarship should contact UPIKE’s Office of Student Financial Services.
To learn how you can contribute to the Effie Waller Smith Scholarship, contact UPIKE’s Office of Advancement at (606) 218-5949.