Nobel Prize winner talks about his life beyond science

1 month 1 week 21 hours ago Monday, December 10 2018 Dec 10, 2018 Monday, December 10, 2018 7:13:00 PM CST December 10, 2018 in News
By: Jalyn Johnson, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Nobel Prize winner George P. Smith, a retired professor, says he lives a rather humble life beyond the spotlight of the world's most prestigious award. 

"Every day is kind of like a weekend,"  he said. "There's a lot of sitting at my computer reading, reading newspapers, reading books, although, I tend to leave books on the computer."

The Nobel Laureate spends a lot of his time with a musical group.

"I am a member, actually a founding member, of the Columbia Chorale. I was one of the founders in 1978 here in Columbia," Smith said. "I'm a not very skillful tenor, but nevertheless, persistent second tenor."

The Columbia Choral, also known as Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri, "provides exceptional choral arts experiences, accessible to all individuals from beginning youth to professional musicians."

The group is made up of multiple adult ensembles.

Members had a surprise party for Smith after one of their rehearsals to celebrate his achievement and talk about his impact on the group.

"This is such a special community. We have people from all types, all walks of life. That's what makes it so beautiful to be in a choir," Emily Andrews said.

Andrews has been involved with the chorale for six years and says Smith is "one of the kindest, intelligent, most passionate people [she] has had the honor of working with."

Smith and his wife are also very involved in politics and environmental issues in the community. That interest played a part in his decision to get a bike spot on campus rather than a parking spot, when the university offered.

"I agreed to it because it's also a shout out to the other people that support alternative transportation in our city," Smith said.

The environment wasn't the only reason Smith agreed.

"My driving skills have declined, so I commute almost exclusively by bicycle rather than by car," Smith said.

Smith said he hasn't thought much about how he hopes to be remembered at the University of Missouri. 

"I haven't thought about legacy in that sense; like legacy that would be attached to my name. I just hope people remember that I'm one person that tried to do my job for the university," Smith said. "It's hard to define your legacy; other people define your legacy."

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Works department is preparing for the winter storm that is set to hit this weekend.... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:01:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been charged with child endangerment after his 14-month-old son arrived unresponsive at a... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 6:04:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Route AC (Grindstone Parkway) bridge of U.S. Highway 63 will close for 60 days this summer. MoDOT... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:34:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
(CNN) -- The State Department is ordering its staff back to work next week, pledging that it will find the... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:12:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – The Columbia Police Department acknowledged Thursday it’s looking into a possible connection between an early morning homicide in... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 5:01:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis newscaster has apologized for what he called an unintentional racial slur while referencing... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 3:30:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 25-year-old Kansas City man is charged with murder in the shooting death of a... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 3:11:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday announced the restructuring of state agencies in his quest to highlight economic... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 1:58:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Domestic violence shelters in mid-Missouri could stop receiving federal funds starting Friday at 6 a.m. due to... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 1:30:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri appeals court says a lower court judge was wrong to order a woman to... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 12:34:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City couple claims in a federal lawsuit that state requirements for foster parents who... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 12:12:00 PM CST January 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – There are 28 more deer from 11 Missouri counties that have chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:45:00 AM CST January 17, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sen. Josh Hawley plans to move his family to a suburb of Washington D.C., but will... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:04:00 AM CST January 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – As the partial government shutdown continues in Washington, Heart of Missouri United Way is stepping up to help... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 9:12:00 AM CST January 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA -- Police confirmed one man was shot and killed early Thursday morning. In a press release, CPD said... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, January 17 2019 Jan 17, 2019 Thursday, January 17, 2019 6:21:00 AM CST January 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's budget and State of the State address Wednesday... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 9:55:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is proposing a $351 million bond to repair or replace 250... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 9:29:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in News
Watch KOMU 8 newscasts and download the KOMU WX app for live coverage and alerts. COLUMBIA - Our confidence... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 7:23:00 PM CST January 16, 2019 in Weather
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
4am 30°
5am 29°
6am 28°
7am 29°