Professor Edward C. Smith, one of the founders of The Heights School when it started in 1969, passed away on March 11, 2023, at the age of eighty. The Requiem Mass and Burial for Prof. Smith was held on Monday, April 17, at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C.. On the day of the funeral, in tribute to Prof. Smith, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released this official proclamation declaring a day of remembrance in Washington, D.C.. Smith’s son, Chris ’93 (pictured below) spoke after the funeral Mass and expressed his family’s tremendous gratitude to The Heights community for the continued prayers and support.
Prof. Smith taught U.S. Civil War history at American University for forty-five years. He was founder and Co-Director of The Civil War Institute and Co-Director of the New York City Ethnic Experience Institute. Professor Smith served as Lecturer for the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, The National Geographic Society and the National Building Museum. In addition to his work during the early years of The Heights, Prof. Smith co-founded the Youth Leadership Foundation. Prof. Smith served in the White House as a speech writer during the Carter Administration. His essays appeared in The Yale Review, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Lincoln Review, The Washington Times, and numerous other publications. Last, but not least, Prof. Smith was a former teacher of Mr. Alvaro de Vicente and Mr. Gerard Babendreier. We include here a HeightsCast interview with Prof. Smith on the topic of Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln recorded in March 2017.