Welcome Back to Campus from President Brad D. Smith


Brad D. Smith, President of Marshall University

Hello! I’m very excited to welcome you back to Marshall University. I hope you are as energized and motivated for this spring semester, as I am to be your new president. 

As we begin this journey together, I want to share a few of my central thoughts and ideas in hopes you will consider them as you continue your studies here at Marshall. 

  First, I sincerely believe that education is the great equalizer. Education transforms obstacles into opportunities and levels the playing field of opportunity for all who have the aspiration and the grit to try. 

  Like many of you, I am a native of West Virginia from a small town. I attended the West Virginia public school system and I’m a proud Son of Marshall. Everything I have ever achieved in life is because someone saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and they invested in me. 

  I’ve been preparing for this new role as your president my entire life although, as most of you know, I have spent my career in business; specifically the tech industry. As a result, I’ve enjoyed a dynamic life with many opportunities.     Now, I see this position as a way serve the community and state that invested in me, and to pay it forward. 

  Your college education will open many doors for you, and those doors will lead to a variety of opportunities. I encourage you to be open to exploring the vast number of experiences that will come your way. Enjoying a breadth of experiences will allow you to discover things that inspire you, while identifying areas that do not fill you with passion or purpose. Both are important lessons to learn.

  Mark Twain once said that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you discover why. I encourage you to capitalize on this time in your life to discover your why! A great book that I have found powerful in assisting with this discovery is The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter And How To Make The Most Of Them Now by Meg Jay. I encourage you to check it out.

  I wish you the best in your studies this semester at Marshall and I look forward to hearing from all of you in the listening sessions that are scheduled for students. Please visit www.marshall.edu/news/listen for the dates and times. As my mother always said, “I’ve been given two ears and one mouth, and I should use them in that ratio.” Thus, the reason for my Listening Tour and my excitement to hear from you. 

  Thank you for choosing Marshall and best wishes for a successful 2022!