Kenneth L. Smith was born and raised in Western Colorado. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Dickinson State University. He also earned a Master of Arts degree in religion from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana, in 1988.
He added a second Master's degree from the University of North Dakota in 1997. His M.A. thesis was entitled “American educator: the life of William Maxwell Blackburn.” Blackburn was the first president of UND, who served from 1884-1885. In 2001, Smith earned a Doctor of Arts degree from UND, with a dissertation entitled "'Education in the large': the life and thought of Dean Joseph Kennedy of the University of North Dakota, 1858-1937."
Ken Smith twice won UND's Merrifield Award, presented for the outstanding scholarly paper written by UND students, which utilize sources in the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. Smith won the award in 1996 and 2000.
Donation; Acc.99- 2320