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Entrepreneur Brad D. Smith led Intuit, one of the country’s largest technology companies, before leaving Silicon Valley to become president of his alma mater, Marshall University.

Smith was born April 6, 1964, in Huntington, and grew up in nearby Kenova. After graduating from Ceredo-Kenova High School, Smith attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After one semester he returned to West Virginia, where he enrolled at Marshall. He graduated with a degree in business in 1986, and later received a master’s degree in management from Aquinas College in Michigan.

After starting his business career at Pepsi, he worked for several other large corporations. He joined the financial software company Intuit in 2003, rising through the ranks to become chief executive officer in January 2008, a position he held for 11 years. He was known for his innovative leadership style and was credited with the company’s tremendous growth during that period.

After leaving Intuit in 2019, Smith and his wife, Alys, established the Wing 2 Wing Foundation, focused on education, entrepreneurship and equality in underserved communities.

Over the years, the Smiths made several significant donations to West Virginia institutions.

In 2015, the Smiths gave $10 million to Marshall to establish a scholarship giving preference to first-generation college students from West Virginia and Ohio. Three years later, they donated another $25 million to support Marshall’s college of business. In recognition of the gift, the undergraduate and graduate schools of business were named the Brad D. Smith Schools of Business.

In 2020, the couple donated $25 million to West Virginia University for the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Cooperative. As part of that effort, the couple partnered with the state to establish a program called Ascend West Virginia to encourage people to move to West Virginia and work in the state remotely.

Following the resignation of Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert in 2021, Brad Smith became one of five finalists for the position. He was named Marshall University’s 38th president on October 28, 2021.

This Article was written by Becky Calwell

Last Revised on December 02, 2021


Cite This Article

Calwell, Becky "Brad Smith." e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. 02 December 2021. Web. 23 May 2022.

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