May 25, 2011
Alumna of the Month: June Minton Smith '55

Probably one of the most well known of all Lees-McRae College alumni is June Minton Smith, alumni board director and member of the class of 1955. June's commitment to her Alma Mater has spanned across the decades.

Few surpass June's passion for making phone calls in support of Lees-McRae, whether it's promoting a reunion or an alumni gathering, or simply sharing information about the College or a classmate.

When asked about her feelings for Lees-McRae, June quickly answered, "Well, it has always felt like home to me. I fell in love with Lees-McRae early in my life and over time that love developed into a passion."

June has served Lees-McRae in a variety of volunteer roles including Chapter Representative and Decade Representative for the Alumni Association. She hosts a Winston-Salem Luncheon each year for local alumni, volunteers at the Alumni Arts and Crafts Show each summer during Alumni Frolic Week, and never misses Homecoming Weekend.

In 2001, June was honored by her peers with the Alumni Service Award. Five years before, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.

"I give back to the College so that others can have the same opportunity as I did. Being a student at Lees-McRae provided me a good solid background from which I have lived my life," June said with a smile. "When I moved to campus as a freshman, being away from home for the first time, Lees-McRae taught me to solve my own problems, to learn to make new friends and be accepting of others."

More than 55 years after leaving Lees-McRae as a student, June reminiscences of her Bobcat days. "I have so many wonderful memories of my time at Lees-McRae - one of the best being at the student center with friends and dancing at the jukebox. Another favorite is the brown bag supper we were served each Sunday on our way out of the dining hall after lunch. It was either a peanut butter and jelly or pimento cheese sandwich with a piece of fruit and maybe a cookie. One of the things we liked to do when we got a pimento cheese sandwich was heat it on our ironing board using the iron. Looking back, it has always been funny to me that while everyone complained about the food, almost all of us gained weight!" June said with a laugh.

When asked what advice June would share with Lees-McRae students, she responded, "My advice to current students would be to work hard, enjoy your friends and cherish every moment of your time at Lees-McRae. It is the most magical time. I made lifelong friends there who have had a tremendous impact on me."

One of those friends was the late Ed Hipps '55. "He always said, 'Every year, our tales get bigger and bigger!'" June remembered. "Lees-McRae was the best time of my life."

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