“I am being called to follow my purpose,” Brad wrote in an inspired LinkedIn post…
Marshall University Honors Alys and Brad D. Smith and Others at Awards Banquet
Marshall University and the Marshall University Alumni Association (MUAA) honored many notable alumni at the 83rd Alumni Awards Banquet on April 9. Brad D. Smith was honored with the university’s Distinguished Alumnus award while, Alys Smith, was selected as the recipient of the Distinguished Service to Marshall University award. The Distinguished Alumnus award and the Distinguished Service to Marshall University award are two of the university’s highest honors.
Originally, Brad was slated to receive Marshall University’s Distinguished Alumnus award in 2020. However, the past two ceremonies were postponed due to the pandemic. Fortunately, this year’s ceremony allowed the MUAA to honor award recipients from previous years. Larry Crum, senior director of communications at the Marshall University Foundation Inc., remarked on the occasion, “This year we have the unique opportunity to recognize many of the awardees who were selected to receive awards in 2020, as well as some new honorees selected earlier this year. This is also the first year we will be hosting this event in Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall, which is home to the Erickson Alumni Center, a fitting backdrop for this event.”
Brad is thoroughly committed to giving back to West Virginia. With that focus in mind, he and Alys founded the Wing 2 Wing Foundation to address the need for educational and economic development resources in the Appalachian region. This mission extends to his current role as Marshall University’s 38th president. Brad was selected for this role in 2021 stating, “I see Marshall University and the opportunity it offers as the great equalizer. It transforms obstacles into potential and possibility. It did that for me and my brothers, and many others who are first in their families to go to college. I consider the opportunity to be its president the greatest privilege to pay it forward.”
Brad and Alys have distinguished themselves as advocates of Marshall University through transformational leadership and support of the university. In November 2018, the couple donated $25 million to Marshall’s Lewis College of Business. The Smiths also established the Brad D. and Alys Smith Family Scholarship for both West Virginia and Ohio students to honor Brad and Alys’ respective home states. Additionally, Brad and Alys have been involved in a number of other Marshall projects over the years. One such project includes the 2017 Innovating for Impact Challenge in which university students created business plans with help from Intuit leaders.