Dr. John Gregory Smith, former Director of Education at the Southbury Training School in Connecticut, was one of three candidates considered to take up the glove at Exeter as Dr. Ladd's successor in the wake of his retirement in 1956.
For much of Dr. Smith's tenure as the Ladd School's second superintendent — and despite a scandal or two run aground — he was something of a media darling in Providence's periodical of note, and wasn't shy when it came to seizing a good photo opportunity.
There can be little doubt that Dr. Smtih fully intended to live out his days like his precessors, a dignitary of a bygone era. But instead, Governor John Garrahy publicly fired him in 1978 during what may well be Rhode Island's biggest scandal in the history of human services.
Highlights in this collection include a photograph of Dr. Smith and RI Senator John Fogarty standing at a nurses station in the newly constructed hospital; Dr. Smith posing with a cadre of unindeifited gentemen before a record player and microhpone; Dr. Smith posing with a shovel, breaking ground for a new building; Dr. Smith again, posing with scissors for cutting the ribon on the Ladd School's new education building; and unpublished outtakes of an aged Dr. Ladd delivering a speech at a podium.
This collection also includes a stamped and signed letter of appreciation on official State letterhead, personally addressed to Dr. Smith, with an autographed picture of Governor Garrahy upon his inauguration in 1977: "Thank you for your support."
Twenty-three black-and-white press photographs from the Ladd School.