September 11, 2014

Robert H. Smith School of Business to Share in University of Maryland Gifts Totaling $60 Million

The University of Maryland announced gifts totaling $60 million, including $30 million from real estate developer Robert H. Smith, an alumnus and benefactor of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Smiths gift will support students, faculty and academic programs in the Smith School, as well as support the university's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

"Nations are defended on the battlefields but they are built in the classroom," says Robert H. Smith at the
State House in Annapolis, MD.

The Smith School was named in honor of Smith in 1998, when he provided an endowment of $15 million, the schools largest gift ever. Smith received his degree in accounting from the business school in 1950 and has been a continuous and active supporter of the school, providing an additional $3 million in 2003, among other contributions. Since Smiths naming gift, the schools stature and size have undergone a dramatic transformation with the addition of world-class research centers, top-flight faculty and increased student quality.

The Smith School has embarked upon a path of excellence that has been, in part, paved by the generosity, support and shared vision of Bob Smith, said Howard Frank, dean of the Smith School. This is an unquestionable example of how one person can make a profound difference.

Robert H. Smith and the business school Dean Howard Frank at the State House news conference.

Smith says the University of Maryland's commitment to quality should be a magnet to attract others. With these gifts today, we open the door to invite others to see the vision of how together we can build a great university, Smith said. 

University of Maryland President C.D. Mote Jr. announced Smiths gift, along with a $30 million gift from A. James Clark, B.A. 1950, at a news conference in the State House in Annapolis, calling them the largest philanthropic investments ever made to a Maryland public institution. Clarks gift will provide scholarship support for the A. James Clark School of Engineering, to which Clark has previously committed in a very substantial way. Clark and Smith, both members of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, chair the Leadership Phase of the university's fund-raising campaign, which is still in the planning stages.

Dean Frank joined Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich and other dignitaries for the news conference.

Jim Clark and Bob Smith have today taken on a huge leadership role with these unprecedented, pace-setting gifts and with their commitment to quality and access for future generations of Maryland students, said Mote, who introduced the two benefactors and Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich at the news conference. These gifts are far more valuable than even the considerable number of dollars involved. They are setting a wonderful example that will reward the state and the university many times over in the years to come.

Mote said that as co-chairs of the Leadership Phase of the campaign that will be publicly launched in Fall 2006, Clark and Smith will work with him to secure additional lead gifts, building on the university's growing success in attracting philanthropic support.

Smith is chairman of Charles E. Smith Commercial Realty, a division of Vornado Realty Trust, and chairman of Charles E. Smith Residential, a division of Archstone-Smith, both REITs listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Smith was the visionary who saw the potential and worked to create what is today the vibrant mixed use project, Crystal City. A man of broad interests, Smith has also served as president and trustee of the National Gallery of Art and chairman of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Clark is chairman and CEO of Clark Enterprises, Inc., a holding company for various enterprises, including Clark Construction, one of the nations largest construction firms, responsible for some of the most visible architectural landmarks in the country including the National Museum of the American Indian and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Clark Construction has also erected many of the buildings at the University of Maryland over the years and is currently at work on the Kim Engineering Building. A strong supporter of education, Clark has served as a member of the University of Maryland Board of Regents and a trustee of The Johns Hopkins University.

Related stories in the news media:

UM Alums Donate $60 Million To College Park Campus,

UM gets 'historic' $60 million in two gifts, The Baltimore Sun

$60 Million Turning Point for U-Md., The Washington Post

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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.

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