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In Memory - Jeanne Hoffman Smith

Jeanne often talked about wanting to live long and drink the last sweet drops of the nectar of life, and she always did. Her love of film and poetry inspired many programs and established many venues, especially ones to screen quality international films from all over the world. She always told me how she would urge her clients to read certain poems and see specific films in relation to issues they were dealing with. She would then explore the reactions of her clients to what they read and/or saw. She realized how important art can be to open ourselves to the world and our interiority. She enriched so many lives, and her legacy will continue to do so. Personally, she enriched my life with her example and her commitment to the development of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film and Literature at OCU. She wanted poetry and international films to be celebrated and experienced by many.

Jeanne has a story that those who know her will recognize: her father taught her to always leave more logs on the woodpile than you found when you came to it. She left that woodpile full.

She also attended workshops across the country to wisely educate herself on philanthropy, deciding that any group she gave money to must practice reciprocity with her gift. She thus drew up contracts with OCU, OU, Oklahoma Arts Institute, The Oklahoma Museum of Art, a museum in Chandler where she came from, and more. She expected OCU to provide the salary and office space for the Center's director as part of its reciprocity. She wanted an institution to commit with her to the values of what the donation represented.

Jeanne was a generous and visionary spirit. She was simultaneously extravagant and humble in her gifts to the community, delighting in the sharing and only asking that we continue to spread those gifts to others in creative ways. It’s truly an honor to be entrusted with carrying this legacy forward.”

-- Dr. Harbour Winn, professor emeritus and former director of the Center for Interpersonal Studies through Film & Literature

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