Homer Smith served as Norwich’s official photographer for 30 years. He was a constant presence on campus during his tenure, and is remembered fondly by many alumni. His beautiful photographs, mostly black-and-white, capture the story of Norwich from approximately 1961 to 1991, a rich and fascinating time in our history.
Smith was a lifelong resident of Northfield, a veteran of the Korean War, and a model airplane enthusiast. During his time as Director of Photo Services, he and his assistants seemingly attended every event from Rook Arrival to Commencement to athletic contests. In addition to capturing these important milestones, Smith’s many candid shots give us a wonderful sense of the personality of the students and the rhythms of life on campus. They could be found in a variety of publications, from the yearbook to the Record and the Guidon, and continue to be used to this day.
Smith photographed luminaries like comedian Bob Hope, author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and former Chief Justice Earl Warren, along with countless military dignitaries when they visited Norwich. His career spanned four Norwich presidents—Ernest Harmon, Barksdale Hamlett, Loring Hart, and Russell Todd—and in many ways, his photographs have shaped these men in our imaginations.
Homer Smith’s meticulously cataloged photographs form the centerpiece of the university’s photograph collection, housed in the Norwich Archives. Hundreds of his images are available to view on the University Archives website, and thousands more can be accessed in their reading room in the Kreitzberg Library.