In 2017, he and his wife, Stacy ’94, created an endowed scholarship for first-generation liberal arts students. They recently committed a planned gift through a bequest to expand the scholarship and create an additional merit-based scholarship for students in the college. “Supporting first-generation students furthers Texas A&M’s mission as a land-grant university to provide educational opportunities for Texas residents,” Brian said.
Brian’s passion for supporting first-generation students was inspired by his experience on the Capital City A&M Club’s scholarship committee. There, he helped award a scholarship to a first-generation student who later graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Texas A&M with two degrees and is now studying at Harvard University. “He is a phenomenal student who needed help getting over the hump, and our club’s scholarship made a tremendous difference for him and his family,” Brian said.
The Smiths are firm believers in leading by example and serve on the Liberal Arts Development Council. “When we are given opportunities, we have a responsibility to help others who follow,” Brian said. “Former students who came before me set a great example of leadership that challenged me to step up and lead when it was my turn.”
Inspired by a scholarship that Stacy received at Texas A&M, the couple also contributed a planned gift to the Lead by Example campaign to support the Sterling C. Evans Library and expand on a scholarship they previously created for students in the College of Education and Human Development. “Looking back on the impact my scholarship had on me and my family, I realized I wanted to provide that opportunity to others,” Stacy explained. “Part of what makes Texas A&M unique is that students can participate in a community that’s bigger than themselves by paying it forward.”
“Planned giving is a way people can give, even if they do not have the resources today, and make a tremendous difference for Texas A&M over the long term,” Brian added. “I hope our gift will impact Texas A&M by changing the lives of students, one student at a time.”