Welcome to Marshall from Brad D. Smith

Brad D. Smith, University President

Welcome to Marshall University and to the Marshall Family! 

You are beginning your higher education at an institution that is built on a storied tradition, while remaining laser focused on the future. Marshall is a place where all are welcomed and provided the opportunity to advance intellectually, socially, professionally and ethically. It promises to be a life-changing experience if you choose to make it so! 

Some of you are coming to Marshall from small towns around West Virginia and beyond. In fact, some may be the first in your family to attend college. Our statistics tell us that you are not alone. More than half of our student population at Marshall are first generation college students, so you are in good company!

I am a first-generation college student myself and a proud Marshall graduate. I have traveled the globe carrying the Kelly-green flag. I can tell you that my Marshall education literally changed my life. Simply stated, “I Am, Because We Are”.

Through my experience, I have come to believe that education is the great equalizer.  It levels the playing field of opportunity. Education transforms problems into possibilities, and dreams into reality. Your college education will open many doors for you, and those doors will lead to exciting opportunities that you cannot imagine today. 

I encourage you to explore and enjoy the variety of experiences that will come your way. You may discover new passions and pursuits that will shape your future. Embrace the unknown, dream big and translate those dreams into reality by putting in the work. As Thomas Edison once said, “a vision without execution is hallucination.” There are no shortcuts to learning and evidence shows that class attendance and participation are significant elements of learning. Lean into your education and be an active learner. 

Finally, get involved. Life is a team sport, and there is no better place to discover ways to contribute to a cause greater than yourself than to get involved in one of the more than 260 student organizations and groups on campus. Check them out, make new friends and develop important life skills along the way. Most importantly, have some fun!

I wish you a great first semester, and I look forward to meeting each of you soon. 

Go Herd!