Sarah Ray
Posted: October 1, 2001

VT - Middlebury College has established the David K.
Smith ‘42 Chair in Applied Economics, and named Professor of
Economics Michael P. Claudon to the newly created chair.
Claudon’s five-year appointment began on July 1, 2001.

The chair
was established in honor of Professor Emeritus of Economics
David K. Smith, Known as “D.K.,” Smith was a member of the
Middlebury College economics department from 1950-1987 and
is a resident of Middlebury and Pittsford. An undergraduate
economics major and a member of the Middlebury College class
of 1942, he received four graduate degrees from Harvard,
including a master’s in economics, a master’s in business
administration, and a doctorate in economics. During a
hiatus from his graduate studies, Smith taught at Lake
Forest College. He also taught at Tufts University while
earning his doctorate. He then joined the department of
economics at Middlebury, where he served as department chair
for 15 years.

During the
early 1970s, Smith created a course in environmental
economics and, for many years, was advisor to all
environmental studies majors whose focus within that
discipline was economics. Smith also served for 23 years as
a consultant to Central Vermont Public Service Corporation,
and as a member of the Vermont State Council of Economic
Advisors for four Vermont governors: Philip Hoff, Deane
Davis, Thomas Salmon and Madeleine Kunin. He has served on
numerous state commissions, advising the governor and
legislature on energy and tax issues. Smith is the author of
textbooks on money, banking and accounting.

“David found
the Middlebury curriculum in economics focused almost
entirely on theory. He believed that theory should be
combined with practice, so that the work of the mind should
be combined with the instincts of the heart. In its place he
shaped the contours of our present curriculum in economics,
which combines a unique approach to the study of industrial
competition, the corporation and corporate finance with
rigorous economic analysis,” said Middlebury College
President John M. McCardell, Jr.

Reuben Mark,
a member of the Middlebury class of 1960 and chairman and
chief executive officer of Colgate-Palmolive, and Julie
Johnson Kidd, a member of the Middlebury class of 1967 and
president of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation,
established the chair in honor of Smith’s

work as a
teacher and mentor. Reuben Mark was a student of Smith’s
while at Middlebury. Kidd was a member of a book club
organized by Smith and his wife Carol, a member of
Middlebury class of 1943.

cannot describe how much this chair means to me … There
are 43 other endowed chairs listed in the Middlebury
catalogue. Only one of these chairs is in the name of a man
who was both an alumnus of the College and a full professor
on its faculty. The 44th chair is the only one named for one
who is an alumnus, served on the faculty, and was alive at
the time the chair was created. That to me is especially
unique,” said Smith.

Claudon is
an economist, international consultant and entrepreneur. In
1970, he was hired as a member of the Middlebury College
economics faculty while Smith was serving as department
chair. In 1987 Claudon co-founded the Geonomics Institute.
During his presidency of the institute from 1987-1995, it
was an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of
business people, policy makers and researchers who worked to
accelerate economic and political transition in the former
Soviet Union and to develop business there. Since then, the
institute has become a part of Middlebury College and has
been renamed the Center for International Affairs.

Claudon has
served as a consultant in several capacities for both the
Russian and Lithuanian governments. From 1991-1995, he was
an advisor to the Resource Secretariat of Russia’s Federal
Commission on Securities. Claudon has also worked as an
unpaid advisor to the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture on
matters of domestic and foreign trade policy formation.

He is
currently developing an alliance with Vilnius University of
Lithuania, where he teaches, and also consults on issues
related to teaching and economics curricula. Claudon has
authored or edited almost two dozen books and more than a
dozen articles. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics
and zoology at the University of California in Berkeley and
his doctorate in economics at Johns Hopkins