Southern Arkansas University will be dedicating the new Smith Sundial, built in memory of the late David Thomas Smith, at the entrance to the Harton Theatre at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 5, 2015.
The Smith Sundial was funded by family and friends of Mr. Smith, and was designed and constructed by the SAU Physical Plant and the SAU Department of Art and Design. Patrick Finney was the construction supervisor and Steven Ochs was the project concrete art designer and craftsman. The sundial is positioned in the campus’ central plaza area, joining the Harton Historic Plaza with the ever-growing brick graduation sidewalk.
The Smith Sundial at SAU is one of only four Arkansas sundials that are registered on by the North American Sundial Society, and the only one outside of Little Rock and North Little Rock. It is also the only sundial in the state that is analemmatic, which is a type of horizontal sundial that has a vertical gnomon that cast a shadow on hour markers positioned in an elliptical pattern. It consists of 22×17-feet of stained concrete with Arabic hour numerals of polished brass. The dial perimeter and hour numeral arc feature a blue decorative polymer mule shoe, representative of SAU’s Mulerider mascot.
Smith, known as “Dave,” is a 1957 SAU graduate in business and English and retired from his working career as assistant director of the SAU Physical Plant. He also worked for many years at First National Bank of Magnolia, Koppers, Inc., and Unit Structures. He passed away on January 25, 2014, at the age of 78.