Reggie Smith knows first-hand the struggles minority students often face in funding their college education. Now, he is stepping forward to help those students get a Williams Baptist University education.
Smith, a 1985 Williams alumnus, has launched the Reggie Smith Foundation Minority Scholarship for WBU students, and the foundation has announced its first class of recipients. Students who will receive the scholarship this fall are: Dara Britton of Raytown, Mo., Travon Cobb of Dumas, Erik Mercado of Senath, Mo., Jada Olloway of Jonesboro and Ricardo Quintero of Caracas, Venezuela.
“Looking back on my educational experiences, I wanted to see if we could help minority students who attend Williams in getting access to some much needed financial assistance to continue their educational pursuit,” Smith said.
Smith, who lives in the Dallas area, is a graduate of Pocahontas High School. He is a US Army veteran, and for the past 24 years he has been in sales management within the pharma/biotech industry. He said he established the scholarship to assist and inspire a new generation of Williams students.
“I hope it helps them bridge a financial gap they may have in acquiring their education. I also hope it inspires them to see a person of color being in a position to reach back and help someone and that they too can do that one day,” he noted.
Smith said the foundation plans to select recipients and award the scholarships annually.
“It is incredibly gratifying to see one of our alumni take the initiative and help today’s students follow in his footsteps at Williams. On top of that, it has been very enjoyable working with Mr. Smith as his foundation has developed this scholarship. We are truly grateful to the Reggie Smith Foundation for assisting WBU students in such a meaningful way,” said Brett Cooper, vice president for institutional advancement.
Williams is a Christian, liberal arts university in Walnut Ridge.