Frank H. Smith, III, AIA – B.Arch ’55

“My interest in architecture began at an early age in part because my uncle was an architect (G. K. Smith, FAIA). My step-father was a professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, so after graduating from Norman High School in the fall of 1945 I enrolled in the architectural department of the University of Oklahoma in the spring of 1946. Here I first met Dean Henry Kamphoefner, Bruce Goff, Duncan Stewart, Terry Waugh, George Matsumoto, Jim Fitzgibbon, etc. (Some years later Jim Fitzgibbon designed my parents’ home (the Quonset house) in Knoxville, TN.)

Still considering architecture I spent a year in liberal arts studies at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. This was the school year of 1946-1947 during which time Kamphoefner, faculty, and some students moved to N. C. State. In the fall of 1947, I joined the group in Raleigh. After two years as a student there I spent two years in the Air Force and interning at an architectural firm. I then returned to the School of Design graduating in 1955.

The primary thing I appreciate about the School of Design was my exposure to some of the world’s greatest architects in person including Matthew Nowitski, Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Neutra, Charles Eames, Buckminster Fuller, and others.  Most held “master classes” with the students.  Due credit to Henry Kamphoefner for having arranged these visits.

After completing my dissertation with Fuller, he suggested I join the aviation industry for two years prior to joining Fuller and Jim Fitzgibbon at Synergetics in Raleigh.

In the following years, I became more and more interested in the marketing of architectural services and eventually resigned after serving as Senior Vice President, Marketing from Finch Alexander Barnes and Rothschild (FABRAP) in Atlanta to form my own practice as a marketing consultant to architectural and engineering firms nationwide. After 30 years in my private consulting practice, I retired in 2012 to St. Augustine, Florida.”