Dr. Hamilton Smith was a member of the graduating Class of 1948. During his time at Uni, Smith was involved in a plethora of extracurriculars, including student council his sophomore year, orchestra and intramurals in his first three years, and basketball during years two and three. Smith graduated from Uni early as well, after just three years. In an autobiography on nobelprize.org, Smith thanked two Uni High teachers, Vynce Hines and Miles C. Hartley for their impact on teaching him geometry and algebra.
Following his Uni career, Smith attended the U of I for a few years, before transferring to UC Berkeley to finish his undergraduate journey. It was at Berkeley that Smith found his interest in biology which prompted him to apply to medical school. Smith later attended Johns Hopkins to receive his medical degree in 1956.
Later in 1970, Smith discovered the first type II restriction enzyme which is called HindII. This discovery led to Smith being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978. Smith then became the scientific director of Synthetic Genomics, working to produce biofuels.