|Year Graduated: 1988|
|Year Inducted: 1993|
Throughout the nineteen year history of swimming at Boston University, no one individual commanded the accolades and honors that Sybil Smith did.
Recognized as the finest swimmer in Boston University history, Sybil Smith reached the pinnacle of her career with the Terriers in her final competition, the 1988 NCAA Championships. There, she placed sixth in the 100-yard backstroke with a school-record time of 56:02. By finishing among the top eight in the event, Smith was recognized as a First Team Division I All-American. She was the first black woman in the nation to accomplish that feat, and she remains Boston University's only All-American in women's swimming.
In addition, she was the first junior to win the University's Mildred Barnes Award, given to the Outstanding Woman Athlete. She received the award again in her senior year, making her the only person to win the award twice.
It would be quite difficult to find an athlete more deserving of these awards than Smith. A three-time NCAA qualifier, she did not lose a single race in dual-meet competition, stringing together 80 consecutive dual wins over her four year career. Twice she was named the Outstanding Swimmer at the Eastern Championships, earning the honor in her sophomore and junior years. In 1987, her junior year, Smith was an Honorable Mention All-America by virtue of twelfth-place finish in the 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the NCAA Championships.
But perhaps the greatest testament to Smith's legacy at Boston University is the array of school records displayed at the Faneuil Aquatic Center. Her seven records (four individual, three relay) remain the standards that Terrier swimmers of the present and future strive for. Her time of 56.61 seconds in the 100 butterfly hs stood since 1986, while her six other records have been intact since 1988.
A 1988 graduate of the University's College of Liberal Arts, Smith qualified for the Olympic Trials in three events, and later became an assistant coach at Harvard.