Lydia Ruffner Smiley, Ph.D. 1946 – 2021

Lydia Smiley, Ph.D.

by Teresa Crane | Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021

 Retired Professor of Exceptional Student Education at FAU passed away Dec. 3, 2021.

Lydia Smiley was born August 18, 1946 in Richland, Washington. She grew up in Aiken, South Carolina, earned a doctorate in Special Education from Georgia State University and joined the faculty at Florida Atlantic University in 1977 where she was one of the founding faculty in the Department of Exceptional Student Education. She retired from FAU in 2012.

Professor Smiley was awarded the prestigious honor of FAU Distinguished Teacher of the Year in 1985, the first woman professor so honored. She also received a Council for Learning Disabilities Professional of the Year award. In addition to numerous chapters, articles and presentations, she co-authored two books on the education of exceptional students, Language Delays and Disorders: From Research to Practice and Exceptional Students: Preparing Teachers for the 21st Century.

She was a staunch supporter of women's rights and an advocate for human rights who gave 35 years of service to FAU. Obituary.