Dr. Preserved Smith lectured on "Luther and the Reformation after Four Hundred Years." The author, in 1911, of The Life and Letters of Martin Luther, Smith, said The Miscellany News, "characterised Luther in such a way that we can well imagine why this was the man to light the fuse that set the religious world, and that was the whole world, of the sixteenth century aflame."

A lecturer in history and specialist in the Reformation at Harvard, Smith was the son of Rev. Henry Preserved Smith—who had famously faulted the inspirational infallibility of parts of the Old Testament—and the brother of Winifred Smith ’04, Vassar professor of English.