A graduate of Columbia Theological Seminary, Robert Perry Smith served as the head of the Reidville Female Academy in Reidville, S.C. before becoming the college’s second president. During Smith’s presidency, the college moved into its new building, Recitation Hall, on four acres that had been acquired on the southern edge of town adjacent to Thornwell Orphanage.
Smith, like all of the early Presidents of PC, combined administrative duties with teaching. In addition to his duties as President, he taught natural science and English literature.
Smith resigned in 1888 to return to the ministry and later became well known for his home mission work in the mountains of North Carolina. Similar to William Plumer Jacobs, Smith had a heart for helping orphaned children. Smith organized Mountain Orphanage in Haywood County, which still exists today and is known as the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth, & Families. Smith died in Asheville in 1936.
Source: Information provided by PC Archives