College Park, MD - March 30, 1998 - Robert H. Smith, president of Charles E. Smith Construction, Inc., in Arlington, VA, has committed $15 million to the University of Maryland Business School, the business school's largest private gift ever. In recognition and appreciation of this gift of endowment, the Maryland Business School has been named the Robert H. Smith School of Business.
"We are very grateful to Mr. Smith for his generosity and support of the University of Maryland," said William E. (Brit) Kirwan, president of the university. "We are deeply honored to carry his name on our business school."
"What makes this even more special is that Mr. Smith is a distinguished business leader of our region, an active participant in community affairs, and a University of Maryland alumnus. His magnificent gift will help the business school become one of the country's most innovative and successful centers of business and management education."
Specifically, Smith's gift will be allocated as follows: $7.5 million for three endowed chairs; $1 million for five endowed research professorships; $3.5 million for endowed graduate students support and for the Graduate Career Management Center; and $3 million for the Dean's Fund for Excellence, which provides support for new initiatives and ongoing programs.
An alumnus of the business school, Smith received his degree in accounting from the University of Maryland in 1950. As president of Charles E. Smith Construction, he oversees and directs all phases of the development and construction of the firm's building projects. He has more than 45 years of experience in all phases of office and residential construction and management. His family company is best known for developing and building the Crystal City complex in Northern Virginia. Other mixed-use projects include Skyline, Courthouse Plaza, Democracy Plaza, and Worldgate.
Smith also is co-chief executive officer and co-chairman of the board of Charles E. Smith Residential Realty, Inc., a publicly traded real estate investment trust. Active in civic affairs, Smith is president of the National Gallery of Art and a member of the boards of trustees of The Brookings Institution and the National Realty Committee. In addition, he is a life member and former president of the Greater Washington Jewish Community Foundation; and former chairman, Board of Governors, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
"Brit Kirwan's leaving to become president of Ohio State coincided with my decision to help the business school make a national and international difference in preparing its students to become the business leaders of tomorrow," said Smith. "I am delighted that the timing allows me to meaningfully express my appreciation for all he has done for my alma mater."
"Like the university, the business school has made tremendous progress. Its academic programs are nationally respected and it has become a regional and national asset. I want to share in the vision to enhance the University of Maryland and the business school in the years to come." "We appreciate Robert Smith's generosity, investment in our dream to transform the Smith School of Business into one of the nation's very best, and his willingness to become our major partner in progress," said Howard Frank, dean of the business school. "His gift will touch each and every part of the school as we work to build on our conventional strengths and to become a leader in integrating technology across the entire practice of business and management. All of us are very proud that the business school now bears the name of the our alumnus, Robert H. Smith."
The Robert H. Smith School of Business offers undergraduate, MBA and MS, and Ph.D. programs. According to the latest U.S. News & World Report surveys, the undergraduate program ranks 20th, the full-time MBA program ranks 27th, and the part-time MBA program ranks 21st nationwide. In addition, SUCCESSmagazine, for four consecutive years since 1994, has ranked the MBA program in entrepreneurship among the nation's top 25. In 1997, SUCCESS ranked the program's curriculum third nationwide.
Robert Smith's gift to Maryland comes during Bold Vision - Bright Future: The Campaign for the University of Maryland. This seven-year fund-raising campaign seeks to raise $350 million in private support. As part of the university's campaign, the business school has a goal to raise $30 million. Smith's gift is the campaign's leadership gift to date.
About the Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research for the digital economy. The school offers cross-functional study options in its six academic departments, which include accounting and information assurance; decision and information technologies; finance; logistics, business, and public policy; management and organization; and marketing. More information about the Robert H. Smith School of Business can be found at http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu.
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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business
The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.