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2024 Lamar F. Smith Scholarship

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Lamar F. Smith was born on February 5, 1912 in Flora, Mississippi.  His family moved to St. Louis, Missouri when he was 5 years old.  He attended St. Louis Public Schools, graduating from Sumner High School in 1930.  While at Sumner he ran track, competing in the quarter mile and in relays against notables such as Jessie Owens and others.  After Sumner, Lamar attended Stowe Teachers College and then Iowa University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1934.  He subsequently earned a Master’s in Education with a minor in Science in 1936. 


Brother Smith began his career as a football coach, and health and science instructor at Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas in 1936.  Then in 1939, he became a teacher and basketball coach at North East Jr. High School in Kansas City, Kansas, where he led his teams to two consecutive conference titles. In 1940, he returned to Sumner High, replacing his former coach and mentor, William (Pops) Beckett, as head coach of the football and track teams. He remained at Sumner until 1951, when he was appointed principal of Weakley Elementary School. He subsequently served as principal at Johnson, Lincoln Curtis, and Carr Lane Elementary Schools. Later, he was called to serve as the assistant to the superintendent for the St. Louis Public Schools. Finally, he returned to work as principal of Cook Elementary school until his professional teaching career ended in 1977.


Brother Lamar Smith was initiated into the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity at Alpha Theta Chapter, in Iowa City, Iowa in 1932 and has been an active member of the Fraternity until he entered Omega Chapter in 2006.  Brother Smith is a past President of the Epsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, as well as the Alpha Redevelopment Corporation.  This scholarship is presented in his honor to collegiate members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

The mission of the Epsilon Lambda Charitable Foundation is to promote and uplift the education of youth and the advancement of communities. This is achieved through it involvement in various activities and initiatives. These activities are to support both the national initiatives and programs of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated as well as support other local philanthropic interest in St. Louis metro area. The Lamar F. Smith Scholarship is open to Alpha Phi Alpha members who live in the city of St. Louis or St. Louis County. This is a one-time, non-renewable award.

Click link to download the scholarship application.

The deadline for the application submission is May 14, 2024.

Applicants must:

  • Be a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

  • Attend a 4-year college or university in the state of Missouri.

  • Be a legal resident of the city of St. Louis or St. Louis County.

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 / 4.0 scale or better.


Finalists for these scholarships may be required to participate in an interview.

Recipients are strongly encouraged to attend the Epsilon Lambda Charitable Foundation scholarship reception.  Date is to be determined.


Questions? Contact the Foundation at

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There is a fundamental belief that one of the evidences of life was progress.

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