Sam Smith

Dr. Samuel H. Smith has dedicated his life to opening doors of opportunity for students. From 1985-2000, Smith served as Washington State University’s eighth president and helped launch WSU’s Vancouver, Tri-Cities, and Spokane campuses. During his tenure, he also promoted distance learning programs that expanded into the university’s Global Campus. Smith’s improvements to education, international programs, and increased opportunities for women and minorities have received national and global recognition. A former faculty member at the University of California and Pennsylvania State University, he also held leadership roles at both schools. He served terms as chair for the NCAA and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. Since retiring, Smith’s passion for educational access and development has continued. He is a founding board member of Western Governors University and the College Success Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and mentoring to low-income students. Smith previously served on the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. Smith holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in plant pathology, in addition to four honorary doctoral degrees.