Robert Adger Smythe

Robert Adger Smythe, a native of Charleston, South Carolina, was born in 1871. He graduated from the Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, in 1890, where he was instrumental in founding Lambda Chapter. After graduating, Smythe entered his father's cotton factoring firm. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia upon his father's retirement. For many years he was partner in John Cay's cotton broker and exporter's firm until Cay's retirement; Smythe then operated the business until his own retirement. In the pre-Depression years, he served as president of the Atlanta Cotton Exchange. For more than 50 years, Smythe operated Cedar Grove Plantation in St. Paul, South Carolina - a plantation that had been in his family since pre-Revolutionary days. Smythe married Ella Anais McGohan of Charleston in 1902. He served as editor of the Shield and Diamond, which he founded, from 1892-1910 and as Grand Treasurer of the fraternity from the 1899 Convention until 1933, when he was elected honorary life president of Pi Kappa Alpha. Smythe died at Piedmont Hospital on December 31, 1962 at the age of 91. In honor of his life-long devotion, seven days of mourning were declared by the Fraternity, and undergraduates throughout the United States wore black ribbons beneath their pins. He is buried in Charleston, South Carolina.