LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Students at Long Beach Elementary have had the honor of meeting their new campus namesake.
Bobbie Smith is a living legend in the Long Beach Unified School District. And on Friday, the school was officially re-named after her.READ MORE: Garcetti: 88,000 Vaccines To Be Given Out During The Week At City Sites
“We feel very proud to have a school named after a very classy lady,” Principal Monica Alas said.
Still, it came as a surprise to Smith, who remembered getting the call.
“When the superintendent called me and told me that they were going to name this school for me, I said, ‘Chris, are you trying to give me a heart attack?’ ” she laughed.
It was 1965 when Smith and her husband made Long Beach their home.READ MORE: 'I Was Desperate': Prince Harry And Meghan's Bombshell Interview
She would become the head librarian at Long Beach City College for 20 years, then the first black female to become faculty senate member and president.
“I was instrumental in getting the affirmative action policy and program at Long Beach City College because I felt it was important for students to see other people like themselves,” she said.
Smith says it’s the library that has brought her the most joy in her life. And it’s in the Bobbie Smith Library where you can find her biggest fans.
“She inspiring to everyone,” one student said.
Smith is now retired, but as she turns to the next chapter of her life, she says she’s proud that she was able to live to see this day.MORE NEWS: Woman, Child Found Dead Inside Rancho Cucamonga Home
“You get your roses when you die. You know, you go into the funeral, and there are flowers everywhere. … But to get them when I can still smell them. It’s an exciting time to be alive,” she said.