Equipped with six decades of expertise, Dr. Marilynn J. Smiley is presently recognized as a professor emerita at the State University of New York at Oswego. Attaining her title in 2014, she previously served SUNY Oswego as a faculty member in the music department beginning in 1961. From there, she was promoted to the rank of distinguished teaching professor in 1974. Alongside her primary teaching duties, Dr. Smiley served as the chairperson of the music department between 1976 and 1981. She commenced her career in 1954 as a music teacher in the public school system in Logansport, Indiana, where she remained until 1961.
To prepare for her career, Dr. Smiley pursued an education at Ball State University, from which she earned a Bachelor of Science in 1954. After the onset of her teaching vocation, she attended Northwestern University and received a Master of Music in 1958. Over a decade later, she matriculated at the University of Illinois, obtaining a Doctor of Philosophy in 1970. Punctuating her advanced degrees, Dr. Smiley received certification from Ecoles d’Art Americaines de Fontainebleau in France in 1959.
Demonstrating versatility in her profession, Dr. Smiley co-edited the book “Remarkable Women in New York State History” in 2013 and has contributed numerous articles to scholarly journals with respect to the topics of American and Renaissance music. To this end, she is acclaimed as a retired musicologist, in which she has directed and performed with the Oswego Recorder Consortium and researched music for the Ontario Singers in Oswego, New York. Additionally, Dr. Smiley is the president of the board of directors of the Oswego Opera Theater. Civically involved as well, she has been heavily involved in the Oswego branch of the American Association of University Women, having excelled as co-president, president, historian and diversity director of the New York State division. She has further maintained membership with the Oswego County Historical Society, the H. Lee Maritime Museum, Safe Haven and Friends of Fort Ontario.
As a testament to her success, Dr. Smiley received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1973 and has been a three-time honorary fellow of the State University of New York Research Foundation. In addition, she received grants from the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Association of University Women and has been selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in Entertainment.