MU receives $25 million for college of business
HUNTINGTON — One of the largest gifts in Marshall University’s history has been bestowed by a Huntington-area native and alumnus of the school.
Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert on Thursday announced alumnus and Intuit Chairman and CEO Brad D. Smith and his wife, Alys Smith, have made a $25 million gift to the university’s Lewis College of Business.
Gilbert said the Smiths’ gift — one of the largest in Marshall’s history — is “transformational” and will provide new and dynamic opportunities for current and future business students.
“The commitments Brad and Alys have made to Marshall over the past five years are changing the lives of our business students for generations to come,” he said in a news release. “They are setting a prime example of career and philanthropic goals for our students.”
Brad Smith was born in Huntington and grew up in the nearby town of Kenova. He graduated from Marshall in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Dr. Avinandan “Avi” Mukherjee, dean of the Lewis College of Business, said the gift will allow Marshall to rework its business curriculum and build new facilities.
“In addition to redesigning our programs through experiential learning and close industry-academic partnerships, we will build new facilities with spaces to nurture collaboration, creativity and entrepreneurship. In appreciation for the Smiths’ vote of confidence, we will name our new business building the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation,” he said.
Mukherjee said the location of the new business building will be announced at a later date.
In recognition of the Smiths’ gift, the college of business also will name its undergraduate and graduate schools the Brad D. Smith Undergraduate School of Business and the Brad D. Smith Graduate School of Business, respectively.
The Smiths previously established the Brad D. and Alys Smith Family Scholarship at Marshall for West Virginia and Ohio students, and their past support was recognized by the Marshall University Foundation Board of Directors in 2015, when the board named the foundation’s building the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.
Brad Smith, who has led Silicon Valley software giant Intuit for 11 years, and Alys Smith, an attorney, live in California. They have two daughters, Payton and Devon.