Marshall University FoundationMarshall University Foundation - 175th anniversary | 2011-2012 Annual Report

175th anniversary | 2011-2012 Annual Report

Donor profile: Brad Smith

Brad Smith
175:Brad offered these thoughts on Marshall's 175th anniversary:
“I think there is tremendous value in experience and learning by doing. But every gift comes with a shadow. You have to be ready to change. It is important to have a durable mission while remaining grounded in your core values. Every successful institution must constantly adapt to succeed in the future. We must look for different “How’s” but remain constant in the “Why.”

Brad Smith wears his Marshall class ring every day.

As President and Chief Executive Office of Intuit, Brad leads one of the industry’s most progressive and admired companies. He sees similarities between his company (the maker of Quickbooks), and the university he is so passionate about.

“Both Marshall and Intuit strive to create an environment where people can succeed by being their genuine self,” said Brad. “We try to be a place where people have the freedom to have ideas and have an impact. Both create an atmosphere where people can be challenged and aspire to do great things."

“The Marshall approach is very inclusive. It meets students in their learning zone, not their comfort zone. It’s a learn/teach/learn approach.”

“Today high school students are constantly using Twitter, posting on Facebook and texting their friends. People want to be engaged in the process of learning. We have found that at Intuit, and it’s part of the model at Marshall.”

The simple idea that people accomplish more together than they ever could alone is fundamental. Smith points to the credo that has been adopted by our University.

“We don’t say ‘I am Marshall’…we say ‘We are Marshall’,” said Smith. “We are a group of communities who have dug our way back from adversity together.”

As the leader of a dynamic public company that is a member of the S&P 500, Brad is always challenged with a demanding schedule, yet he still finds time to come home to the Tri-state and Marshall.

“It is home for me. It is a chance for me to reground myself and make sure I have not lost my way. To be genuinely successful, you have to constantly reimagine who you are while remaining who you want to be.”

“Everything I have accomplished I owe to Marshall and the community I came from. I am the sum total of that life experience and the people who invested in me. I want to make it easier for the next person to chase their dream.”