Gift from Longtime GM Exec Brings Experts to Campus
MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology is pleased to announce the launch of the F. Alan Smith Distinguished Lecture Series, which will bring corporate executives from the transportation industry and other experts to campus for fall and spring presentations.
The series is made possible by a generous gift from F. Alan Smith, who spent more than three decades in leadership positions at General Motors in the U.S. and Canada.
“With automation, robotics, computer-aided design and more, the auto industry is an evolving field that can provide key lessons and important examples that will resonate with Florida Tech students,” Smith said.
Smith has served on Florida Tech’s Board of Trustees since 1996.
His prestigious career at GM included serving as executive vice president of finance of General Motors and president and general manager of General Motors of Canada, Ltd. He has held other leadership positions as well, including serving on the Board of Directors of 3M Corp.
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1952 and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business in 1953. He now resides in Indialantic.
The lecture series, which began in 2007 at the F. Alan Smith Visiting Executive Program, was created to attract corporate executives to speak to students, faculty and community leaders at Florida Tech. At least one executive speaker is welcomed to campus in both the fall and spring semesters.
Future lecturers will address topics such as innovation in the automotive industry, self-driving cars, the hyperloop high-speed rail, and advances in ride-sharing. Speakers may present from a business and/or engineering perspective, but with an appeal across the university’s five colleges.
“The voice of experience is a powerful and captivating way to impart knowledge, and we’re excited about bringing leaders from the automotive sector and elsewhere to campus to speak to and interact with our students,” said Florida Tech President T. Dwayne McCay. “Mr. Smith knows how much our students can learn from these men and women and we thank him for making this lecture series possible.”
Last March, the series welcomed Susan Smyth to campus. Smyth, chief scientist for global manufacturing and director of the R&D Manufacturing Systems Research Lab at General Motors, presented, “The Future of Manufacturing in the 21st Century.”
The next speaker is scheduled to be John Fleming, president and chief executive officer of Ford of Europe and group vice president, Ford Motor Company. The date of his presentation is being finalized.
Find out more about the series and upcoming speakers at www.fit.edu/distinguished-lecture-series.