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A native of Wise, Virginia and a 1951 graduate of the University, Carl Smith and his wife Hunter have supported a variety of initiatives on Grounds. Mr. Smith served as a member of the Board of Visitors from 1980 to 1988, chairing its Finance Committee, and was a two-term trustee of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration Foundation.

In 1997, the Smith Family’s gift of $25 million was the largest single monetary contribution in the University’s history. The bulk of that unrestricted gift–$23 million–went toward the expansion of Scott Stadium while $2 million was pledged to the construction of a new football stadium at the University’s College at Wise. The area encompassing Scott Stadium is named the Carl Smith Center in Smith’s honor.

In addition, the Smiths’ gifts have supported the schools of rchitecture, law, medicine and business; the Children’s Medical Center; the performing arts center; the University’s marching band; and the Jefferson Scholars program.

“Carl Smith came to the University of Virginia in the late 1940s and, in many ways, never left,” said former University President John T. Casteen III. “He created a life here with his beloved wife Hunter and made Charlottesville his home. His devotion to all aspects of the University is legendary, in particular his unabashed enthusiasm for athletics.

“He was overjoyed at the naming of the Carl Smith Center and often was spotted walking the construction site as the expansion of the stadium came to fruition. While Carl Smith’s name is engraved in stone in the clock tower overlooking Scott Stadium, it also will reside in the hearts of those in our community who knew and cared deeply about him.”

Smith received his degree in economics from the College of Arts & Sciences in 1951. The recipient of an athletic scholarship, he was an offensive guard for the Cavaliers football team. He often recalled how he balanced his time between a quiet corner of Alderman Library and the playing field in Scott Stadium.

His support of the University’s athletic program was based on his belief that academics always took precedence. When he made the historic $25 million gift, Smith said: “I think the University is going about this in the right way. Many schools put sports first as they aim for national standings in athletics. Here, academic programs have consistently been ranked among the best in the country. Our sports programs are now following their lead.

“The University’s goals include achieving excellence in a broad spectrum of sports, and that includes team sports as well as club sports and intramurals. I hope this will encourage others to step forward to support all athletics programs at U.Va.”

Smith Family

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