When Guy-Harold Smith was graduated from the principal’s course in 1919, he left behind this line below his photograph in the Meletean: "I am not among the Common Men." The career of this graduate of LaFarge High School indicated that he spent his life doing things that many people did not or could not do. While taking his bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he earned the Phi Beta Kappa Key and in 1927 was awarded the Ph.D. degree in geography. After teaching one year at the University of Illinois, he joined the geography staff at the Ohio State University where he spent the next 37 years teaching and researching in that field. For 29 of those years, he served as chair of the Department of Geography and directed the research of 24 doctoral candidates who wrote their theses under him.
Smith was listed in Who’s Who in America, American Men of Science, and other publications for outstanding educators. He was the author of numerous articles in scholarly journals and was the editor and principal contributor for the third edition of Conservation of Natural Resources. The Distinguished Alumnus Award was made on Smith’s record as "author, editor, cartographer, teacher, and administrator." He was the first geography specialist to be so honored.