The Heroines

Joyce F. Smith

is honored with a Brick from Bert L. Smith.

Joyce F. Smith
   It has been said that Joyce entered the world in April 1931 with a golf club in one hand and travel arrangements to some far off places in the other, as these have been and remain her favorite leisure activities. She was born and raised in the small town of Connersville, Indiana, a real Hoosier! With four older sisters and a brother, she lacked neither companionship nor advice. She grew from a rather shy, quiet child into an outgoing teenage beauty. In high school she was an avid bowler and was captain of the team for two years until graduation; she also became a drum majorette; played in both the band and orchestra, and when a survey was taken by all students in her senior class, she was given the choice of either being the prettiest or the nicest in her class. She chose the latter.
   Lacking the finances to attend college, she moved from home and settled into life in the big city as a secretary, first in Chicago, then Indianapolis, where she was courted by, and finally married, a young navy ensign, Bert Smith. Son Kevin soon followed, then daughter Erin, and Joyce, as so many other women of that time, settled into the life of a mother and homemaker while husband Bert completed his naval tour of duty. His goal then was to earn graduate degrees so he could eventually begin a career as a college professor in engineering.
   In due time the curiosity of a higher education caught hold, and Joyce enrolled as a college freshman, a part-time nontraditional student at Wichita State University. Reluctant at first about being in class with "the young kids," the thirst for knowledge took hold and she became an eager student in addition to being a wife, mother and part-time employee in the College of Fine Arts. After eight years she completed her degree with a major in journalism and a minor in political science. Taking a year off from school, she then pursued part-time a Master of Arts Degree in Communications and Business while she served as full-time executive for the Wichita District Dental Society. At one time, mother, son and daughter were simultaneously enrolled at Wichita State University where husband Bert was employed as a professor in the College of Engineering. A real family affair!
   A dozen years followed as sole proprietor of JFS Management/ Communications, a one-person business that provided freelance writing and association management. (One association still depends on Joyce on a part-time basis as their executive director that spans a twenty year period so far.) During this time Joyce also became more active in golf. She was instrumental in starting the Business Women's Golf League of Wichita for those women who held jobs and could not play in the week-day morning women's leagues. For years she has been on the boards of the city and state golf associations holding many of their various offices, one as editor of a twice yearly magazine for KWGA (Kansas Women's Golf Association) that she continues to do, and Chair of the City Junior Girls Golf Championship, a position she plans to hold through 2006.
   Joyce has always taken an active role in the Women's Association of Wichita State (formerly the Dames), an organization for the wives of faculty members or women faculty.
   Once a member, it didn't take long for her to become active at the University Congregational Church: first on the Board of Deacons; then a term on the Education Board, the last year as president; and eventually a term on the Board of Trustees, serving as secretary during part of her term. Squeezed in between all of this, travel abroad to both Europe and Asia many times, she has enjoyed visiting their cities and villages and learning about their cultures from knowledgeable guides. Golf, travel, advice to her children and trying to keep her husband in line tops her priority list—even above her on-going professional career. A true heroine!