$10 Million Gift Expands Opportunities in Smith

Students in the Robert H. Smith School of Business will see new scholarships, outside-the-classroom opportunities and enhanced facilities following a $10 million gift from the family of its namesake.

A portion of the gift from the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation will support the MBA Scholarship Fund, helping the school compete for the best applicants by providing additional financial aid.

The gift will also enable the school to expand leadership learning for undergraduates, through extracurricular experiences that complement academic courses. The balance of the gift will allow facility renovations that will keep the school in front of business education and will continue to fund the school’s Center for Social Value Creation.

“The many conversations about the business school that I had with my father, as well as experiences with him there, made me very aware of how important it was to him,” says Michelle Smith, foundation president. “It was natural that I would want to continue to support his legacy and carry on his commitments in the best way I could.”

Robert H. Smith earned an accounting degree in 1950 from the school and became a major developer, then philanthropist in the D.C. area. In 1998 he gave $15 million to the school; the Smith family donated an additional $30 million in 2005 and has made other gifts since then. The Smith School’s stature has increased accordingly; it was recently ranked 22nd in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Smith died in 2009.

“Our business students will directly feel the impact of this generous and visionary gift,” says UMD President Wallace D. Loh. “The Smith family is helping us create next-generation business education, greater experiential learning and wider access through scholarships.”

“We are extremely grateful for the Smith family’s continued support of the Robert H. Smith School of Business,” says Dean Alexander Triantis. “Their generosity will help us continue to attract, challenge and engage our students.”


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