Brad D. Smith + Marshall University
Brad D. Smith has always considered himself to be a son of Marshall. He graduated from the university in 1986 with a degree in business administration and later established a scholarship fund at the school alongside his wife, Alys. In 2018, the couple donated an additional $25 million to the schools of business and, in 2019, the Brad D. Smith Business Incubator was established. Brad stepped into his role as the university’s president in January 2022.
On October 28, 2021, viewers tuned in to Marshall University’s Board of Governors meeting, eagerly awaiting to hear across the livestream who had been chosen as the institution’s next leader. Earlier in the month, the search committee had narrowed down the prospective candidates for presidency to a list of five individuals. Among them was Brad D. Smith.
On that Thursday morning it was announced that Brad had been chosen for the position and had, in fact, been the unanimous choice among the Board of Governors.
Later that day, during an event to introduce Brad to the Marshall community, he gave a speech as the recently-appointed President elect.
“There are three mindsets I promise I am going to bring to this position: Dream bigger, deliver faster and define excellence.”
Although still new in his current position, Brad has big dreams for Marshall University. Since stepping into the role, he has taken the time to listen to the concerns and hopes of faculty and students alike. He recognizes the challenges facing academia today and seeks to tackle them head on with the mindset of a strategic business leader and with the support of the entire Marshall herd.
“My ‘why’ is to level the playing field in West Virginia and in Appalachia,” he said during his acceptance speech. “And to invest in those who have invested in me. I see Marshall University and the education that it offers as the great equalizer.”
In April 2022, Brad and Alys were both honored by Marshall University at the 83rd Alumni Awards Banquet. Brad was the recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumnus award while Alys was given the Distinguished Service to Marshall University award. Both individuals were recognized for their unwavering commitment and support of the educational institution over the years.
As Brad tackles this new venture, it will undoubtedly be with the humble leadership, strategic mind and inspiring aura that brought him continued success in Silicon Valley.