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Brad Smith begins tenure as Marshall’s 38th president

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Monday marked the official first day on the job for Marshall University President Brad Smith and he was seen in his Kelly Green.

Smith’s tenure as Marshall’s 38th president began with a celebratory donning of a Kelly green jacket presented by Board of Governors Chairman Patrick Farrell and Vice Chairman Toney Stroud.

“I’ve worn Kelly green throughout my life. But to have the opportunity to wear this as the 38th president of Marshall is a dream come true,” Smith, a Kenova native, said during the brief ceremony outside Old Main on the Huntington campus.

Marshall said Smith’s day began in his Old Main office before dawn where he reviewed the upcoming schedule with his transition team. Also on the president’s itinerary Monday were calls with state and federal officials and meetings with senior administration officials at Marshall.

Smith, an alum of the institution and former Intuit CEO, was named president on October 28 after an extensive search. He replaces the now retired Dr. Jerome Gilbert, who came to Huntington in January 2016 and opted to not renew his contract.

Smith earned his bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and his master’s degree in management from Aquinas College in Michigan. He is a well-known donor to Marshall giving multiple gifts of millions of dollars including a $25 million gift for the college of business in 2018. In recognition of the Smiths’ gift, the college of business named its undergraduate and graduate schools the Brad D. Smith Undergraduate School of Business and the Brad D. Smith Graduate School of Business, respectively.

“My parents raised me with the understanding that living a good life is only possible if you serve others. And to have the opportunity to serve those who invested in me is the privilege of a lifetime,” Smith said Monday of coming to Marshall.

According to Smith, he has a listening tour scheduled with around 20 sessions with different Marshall stakeholders over the next 4-6 weeks. Smith has critical decisions ahead, including COVID-19 response, hiring a permanent provost, athletics director, and when the athletic department will join the Sun Belt.

“I’ll have the opportunity to get my arms around some of the issues we are all dealing with right now, including COVID,” Smith said.

Marshall opened university offices on Monday. Classes resume Jan. 10.

Masks will be required in all university buildings, regardless of vaccinations status, according to the university.





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