Alumnus Creates Scholarship to Help Students Seize Opportunities

Marquett Smith ’85 knows the importance of a good education, and helping others achieve higher learning is a priority.

“Sometimes you need to measure your success by those you help along the way.

Not your personal success, but how many lives you have positively impacted along the way,” Smith explained.

Smith has committed $50,000 to endow the Cassidy Achievement Resources and Equality Fund (C.A.R.E.) at Radford University. The purpose of the fund is to assist students from diverse ethnic backgrounds at RU who experience an immediate personal need for funds to continue their college education.

“It’s important to me that we all take action and help others. Some donations are bigger and some are smaller. What they have in common is that we give back,” he said. “Any level of giving will help a student. No amount is too little because it’s more than they had before you decided to give.”

Smith said RU alumni can make a difference for future and current RU students. A Radford education is possible for all those who seize the opportunities in front of them.

Smith currently serves as president of the Washington/Baltimore/Virginia region for Verizon Wireless. He holds full profit and loss and operational responsibility for a $2.8 billion revenue stream for the nation’s largest wireless company. He’s a two-time winner of Verizon Wireless’ President’s Cabinet Award for sales excellence and the prestigious Verizon Chairman’s Award for outstanding business leadership.

 “A lot of people helped me along the way,” Smith said. “My RU professors challenged me and helped me learn how to study harder and figure out my own path.”

Even now when Smith has an important presentation to make, he reaches back to the skills he learned in college while creating his class assignments.

Smith says RU alumni can serve as role models. “We are here to show students that there are many ways to reach success,” he said. “They can earn that valuable degree and achieve their best possible. We are here to encourage, support them and model the way.”