Higher education matters, Marshall University style

January 8, 2019

It is common these days to read about predicted changes coming to higher education and about what value higher education has for our society. It is in this national context that we find ourselves examining West Virginia’s four-year higher education system with the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission. Many outside the commission are debating why we need many different institutions and if they really make a difference.

As president of one of our state’s universities, I think it is important to talk about the relevance and impact of all higher education institutions in West Virginia.

As 2018 came to an end and I reflected on the year’s accomplishments at Marshall, I asked myself the question, “for whom does Marshall University matter?” A quick answer that came to mind is Marshall University alumnus Brad Smith, who serves as chairman and CEO of Intuit.

Marshall matters so much to Brad that he and his wife Alys are giving $25 million to Marshall — the single largest donation from a private citizen to a university in West Virginia in 2018. Brad believes in Marshall’s ability to help business students become world-class leaders and is going to transform our Lewis College of Business with his commitment.