Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Steven G. Smith
Steven G. Smith was born and raised in Guymon, Oklahoma, the fifth of seven children of the late DeWitt “Dud” Smith and Katherine “Kappy” Smith. It was a happy time growing up in Guymon. There were trees to climb, bikes to ride, ball games to play, the community swimming pool in the summer and, when Steve got older, a motorcycle to ride. Summer nights were the best when they played outside half the night and slept out in the backyard. Some of his happiest memories are being a member of Boy Scout Troop 61. Meetings were fun and campouts were even better. Summer camps at Camp M.K. Brown provide a lifetime of memories and it is an emotional experience when he returns there with his family as well as with other young men.
Steve attended Guymon Public Schools, graduating with the class of 1973. Guymon Schools have always been a source of pride because of the friends made, the quality education he received and the teachers and administrators that truly cared, as they do today. After graduation, Steve took a job driving a bread truck for Roy Carden. He delivered Cook Book Bread primarily to mom and pop businesses in Goodwell, Texhoma, Four Corners and Hardesty, where he met small business owners who made a lasting impression on him. They were hand-shake people – their word was always good. Steve started school at Panhandle State College in August, 1973. Roy scheduled his work around his classes as he valued an education above all else. Steve maintains that policy today in his own business. Education comes first.
Steve was sitting in the Student Union in January, 1974, when a high school classmate came walking by accompanied by a pretty little blonde. Steve asked Nona who she was and Nona filled him in. Arrangements were made to meet at a dance being held in the Student Union ballroom later that week. Neither were dancers so they sat in the Student Union talking. Steve mentioned that he had to get up early the next morning to go to work and jokingly asked her if she wanted to go. To his surprise, she said “yes”! He picked her up at Holter Hall early the next morning and she went to work with him. His bread truck was a Ford van that did not have a passenger seat so she sat on a milk crate with a cushion on it. She did not seem to mind as Sonya Hamilton married him on August 1, 1975. Sonya is the daughter of the late James R. “Bob” Hamilton and the late Dorothy Hamilton, of Goodwell. Bob was the manager of the OPSU research station for many years.
Steve graduated from OPSU in 1977 with a B.S. in Business Administration and in 1981 with a B.S. in Accounting. Sonya graduated from OPSU in 1977 with a B.S. in Mathematics. Steve owns an accounting practice in Guymon where he and Sonya work.
Steve remembers his days at OPSU with fondness. As in high school, he was surrounded by good people and wonderful instructors that truly cared and strove to provide their students with a quality education. Lifelong friendships were made. He has taken advantage of OPSU over the years, taking different classes as time allowed. He jokes that if his picture was taken every time he took classes, he would be in 10 yearbooks – and not because it took him that long to graduate!
One of his favorite hobbies over the years has been weight training, a hobby he took up at OPSU. He later owned a small gym in Guymon and Powerlifted for approximately 8 years. He later gave his equipment to Goodwell Public Schools. Due to injuries, he no longer trains with weights but rides a bicycle when he can, including the 11 mile trip from his home in Goodwell to his office in Guymon. He loves to camp, fish, hunt & listen to hippie music.
Steve volunteers his time in many different ways, following the Boy Scout Slogan of “Do a good turn daily”. He is currently the Scoutmaster of Troop 142 in Goodwell. He is the third of eight Eagle Scouts in his family and looks forward to the family legacy continuing with his grandkids and great grandkids.
Steve promotes OPSU whenever possible. He typically travels in an OPSU t-shirt or hoodie and cherishes the times people talk to him about OPSU or about the Panhandle. He asks them about the last time they were on campus and challenges them to come back home to see the beauty of OUR University. He follows in his dad’s footsteps of helping OPSU as Dud ran the scoreboard at OPSU football games for many, many years. Dud installed and maintained scoreboards and even raised money for their purchase. Before football season every year Dud made sure the scoreboard and lights were in good working order. Steve is involved in promoting tailgate parties, cookouts for university organizations and in other ways.
Steve and Sonya are the proud parents of Shanda, Drew, Austin and William. Shanda and her husband, Jeff Oden, and their children Tayler, Jayden, Jeremiah, Lily and Konnor live in Hooker. Drew lives in Guymon and Austin and William live in Goodwell.