Staff Profile – Margaret Smith, Registrar

In our June issue of The Wesleyan Way we were pleased to feature our registrar, Margaret Smith, who skillfully serves students and alumni in many ways in functions related to their academic records. 

Early life
My dad and his first wife had six kids. After his first wife died, he and my mom were married and had twelve kids. My dad was in an accident in the coal mines of Clay County, and then they moved to Whitley County. My mom went through eighth grade, but my dad only went to sixth grade. Back then, kids usually worked to help the family instead of going to school. I grew up farming. Our family farmed for our family farm as well as the neighbors’. We grew everything we ate. Summer was work for us, whether we were in the tobacco patch, cucumber patch or other growing crops.

Career
I started to work in Pontiac, Mich., after I graduated from college. My brother dropped me off with another brother in Pontiac that summer and within a week, I had a job at Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital. I got homesick and returned to Whitley County in December of that year. I worked at Corbin Hospital for a few months until the assistant bookstore manager’s job came open at Cumberland College and my former work study supervisor, Roberta Meadows, who was the bursar, contacted me and encouraged me to apply. My first day on the job was Labor Day. Imagine that! I spent the next 12 years at the bookstore and became manager when my manager left after a few months. I then moved to Ohio and worked at various positions before I ended up at Bluffton University as an assistant to the registrar. After about three years, the assistant registrar left, and I was promoted to assistant registrar. After approximately 13 years, my husband and I decided we were tired of the cold and snowy weather in Ohio, and we ended up in Horse Branch, Ky. My intention was to find a place around Georgetown, Ky., where some of my family live. But sometimes GOD has other plans, so here I am at KWC. I started at KWC as assistant registrar on July 19, 2018, and became registrar in February 2022.

What does The Wesleyan Way mean to you?
Every day, I hear faculty and staff asking what they can do to help students or each other. We are all called to serve, and I look at KWC as the place where GOD has chosen for me to be.

What do you most enjoy about your responsibilities?
I like the interactions with faculty, staff and students. My problem-solving skills are challenged every day, and it is a good day when I go home feeling like I have accomplished something.

How do you enjoy spending your spare time?
Are you kidding? LOL What spare time? Growing up, vacations were not a part of summer break. We went to the tobacco field, hay field or the garden to work. So now, if I get the opportunity, I head to the beach. I love spending time with my grandkids. Between the two of us, my husband and I have five ranging from the oldest who is about to turn 16 and the youngest, who just turned 2 months. I Iove to walk and go to the gym, put on my headphones and listen to music.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
I grew up with strong Southern Baptist parents and strict rules. I was taught to work hard and treat others as you would like to be treated. 

Thank you, Margaret, for all you do to serve our students and the entire Wesleyan community