President Smith, Others, Given Notable Alumni Award

Trevor Smith, Reporter

Marshall President Brad Smith and his wife Alys were awarded the Distinguished Alumnus and the Distinguished Service to Marshall Awards Saturday at the 83rd Alumni Awards Banquet.

The banquet was held at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall and was the first year the banquet had been held since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year the event held spotlights for more than this year’s awardees, also including recipients of the awards that were unable to be presented the past two years.

Larry Crum, senior director of communications at the Marshall University Foundation Inc., said that it had been some time since they were all last together and able to honor members of the community.

“A lot of these awardees are carried over from 2019 and 2020, so to be able to finally get to recognize some of these outstanding individuals is exciting,” said Crum.

The Marshall University Foundation mentioned many of Smith’s contributions to the university, including the $25 million donation to Marshall’s Lewis College of Business, to the involvement in creating the 2017 Innovating for Impact Challenge.

Cathy Burns and William Joseph Kehoe were selected as co-recipients of the Outstanding Community Achievement Award, and Jeff McKay received theDistinguished Young Alumnus Award. Burns is also a 1983 Marshall Graduate, and Kehoe a 1973 graduate. McKay is a two-time graduate from Marshall, first in 2009 and then in 2012.

“I really appreciate that they recognize the city and Marshall are intertwined,” said Burns. “And that they value the work of what we do in the public arena, public administration, and that they see the synergy between the two. I’m really honored to be the person to represent that.”

Crum said that anybody can receive the awards presented, that all they would need to do is make a name for themselves that represents the community. “Go out and make a name for yourself that represents Marshall. Represent Marshall in your community, and just be a true son or daughter, taking all the things Marshall is about to their community.” He also said that there are many awards in lots of categories, and that they are not just reserved for the rich and successful.