Athletics News

GW Mourns the Passing of Trustee Emeritus Robert H. Smith

Dec. 30, 2009

It is my sad duty to interrupt the holidays with the news that Trustee Emeritus Robert H. Smith passed away suddenly last night.

Bob Smith was a great, indeed a visionary, philanthropist who was a tremendous supporter not only of this University and of his alma mater, the University of Maryland, but of countless institutions in the greater Washington area and beyond. Just last week he was on our campus to offer his advice on the next phase of renovation of the center named for his father, Trustee Charles E. Smith. I have personally seen the effects of Bob's generosity at the National Gallery, George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, President Lincoln's Cottage, the Newseum and as far away as the Benjamin Franklin House in London. He was also a leader in business and in the Jewish community, and he took special care to ensure that the altruistic values he proudly inherited from his father were handed down to his children and grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by us all.

"I enjoyed my personal relationship with Bob Smith for many years," said Robert Chernak, Senior Vice President of Student and Academic Support Services. "I am deeply grateful for his generous support of the Charles E. Smith Center renovation project."

A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. this coming Sunday, Jan. 3, at Adas Israel Congregation, 2850 Quebec Street NW, in Washington's Cleveland Park neighborhood.