You are here: Home / News Release Archives / 2013 / June / Smith Trustee Scholarship to Support Entrepreneurial Undergrads in Smeal

Smith Trustee Scholarship to Support Entrepreneurial Undergrads in Smeal

A new scholarship designed to recognize aspiring entrepreneurs in the Smeal College of Business has been created by Penn State alumnus Richard Smith and his wife, Linda Hoffman, of Tucson, Ariz.
June 13, 2013

A new scholarship designed to recognize aspiring entrepreneurs in the Smeal College of Business has been created by Penn State alumnus Richard Smith and his wife, Linda Hoffman, of Tucson, Ariz.

The couple committed $50,000 to create the Richard A. Smith Trustee Scholarship, targeted to students who demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship through their course selection.

“[W]e want to encourage students to take advantage of every educational opportunity they can in order to prepare them to face these challenges [of business ownership] head-on.”

Smith and Hoffman chose to support entrepreneurial education at Smeal because of the college’s solid reputation as well as its curriculum in entrepreneurship and innovation—including an interdisciplinary minor for undergraduates.

“Rick and Linda know how important it is to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in our students, especially at the undergraduate level,” said Charles H. Whiteman, the John and Becky Surma Dean of Smeal. “Their commitment to this scholarship will help develop students who gravitate toward creativity and innovation in business.”

Smith is the president of BreakMakers, Inc., named for his family’s philanthropic vision of helping to provide others with educational and entrepreneurial opportunities. The 1974 graduate of the College of Health and Human Development and his wife, an alumna of the University of Maryland, recently retired from Golf Cars of Arizona (GCA), a golf car dealership that they bought in 1993.

Before moving to Arizona in the early 1990s, the couple lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. metro area. They knew they wanted to run their own company, and their research led them to GCA. Over 19 years, they grew the company from one location to a multi-million dollar operation with three locations.

“We understand the unique challenges of business ownership, and we want to encourage students to take advantage of every educational opportunity they can in order to prepare them to face these challenges head-on,” said Smith. “We know that Smeal is a great place to do this, because education in the area of entrepreneurship is growing quickly there. We feel confident that Smeal can give students the foundation they need to be successful business people and entrepreneurs.”

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. In this groundbreaking philanthropic model, Penn State matches 10 percent of the total pledge or gift at the time a Trustee Scholarship is created, making funds available immediately for student awards. This University match, which is approximately double the endowment's annual spendable income, continues in perpetuity, tripling the support available for students with financial need.

The Richard A. Smith Trustee Scholarship will help the Smeal College of Business to reach its goals in For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. This University-wide effort is directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The University is engaging Penn State's alumni and friends as partners in achieving six key objectives: ensuring student access and opportunity, enhancing honors education, enriching the student experience, building faculty strength and capacity, fostering discovery and creativity, and sustaining the University's tradition of quality. The campaign's top priority is keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families. The For the Future campaign is the most ambitious effort of its kind in Penn State's history, with the goal of securing $2 billion by 2014.

Recent News
Students Learn Real-World Supply Chain and Sustainability Skills in Italy 26 Aug Students Learn Real-World Supply Chain and Sustainability Skills in Italy

This summer 23 Penn State Smeal College of Business students spent six weeks in Florence, Italy, studying supply chain and management from an Italian perspective with Norm Aggon, assistant department chair and instructor in operations and supply chain management, and Ron Johnson, senior instructor in management and organization.

Smeal Welcomes New Faculty Members 26 Aug

The Penn State Smeal College of Business welcomes more than 15 new members to its faculty this academic year.

MBA Students in U.S., Canada Invited to Register for Sustainability Case Competition 22 Aug

MBA students from AACSB-accredited programs in the U.S. and Canada are invited to register for the inaugural Penn State Smeal College of Business MBA Sustainability Case Competition. The competition, part of an initiative aimed at incorporating sustainability into the curriculum, will offer three top prizes that total $17,500.

Dennis Sheehan Named Faculty Director for Penn State Smeal MBA, Executive MBA Programs 19 Aug

Dennis Sheehan, the Virginia and Louis Benzak Professor of Finance at the Penn State Smeal College of Business, has been named faculty director of both the Penn State Smeal MBA Program and the Executive MBA Program in Philadelphia.

New Book Compiles Latest Legal Aspects of Business Sustainability 18 Aug

Smeal College of Business’ Dan Cahoy, professor of business law, along with colleague Jamison E. Colburn from Penn State Law, have co-edited a new book compiling the viewpoints of eight different scholars exploring the legal aspects of sustainability and its impact on business strategies. Law and the Transition to Business Sustainability was published in July, after a joint symposium held at Penn State Law School and the Smeal College of Business this fall.

More Recent News... More Recent News...