Suffolk University will name the dining hall in its new academic building for distinguished alumni and brothers Michael Smith and Larry Smith in recognition of their $1.1 million gift. The Smiths are co-founders of the Nation Safe Drivers Group in Boca Raton, Fla.
Suffolk’s 20 Somerset Street facility will provide students with technology-enhanced instructional space for science and general-study classrooms. It is slated to open in fall of 2015.
The gift also will subsidize travel and uniform costs for Suffolk student-athletes. The University will acknowledge the Smiths’ generosity by adding their names to the floor of the Regan Gymnasium.
In addition, a portion of the gift will continue to support the Smiths’ endowed scholarship, which was established in memory of their friend, Pvt. Sheldon R. Cohen, who served in Vietnam. The scholarship offers financial assistance to a graduate of Chelsea (Mass.) High School attending Suffolk University and also has provided for the creation of an executive case discussion room in the University’s Sawyer Business School.
The brothers received bachelor of science in business administration degrees from Suffolk and are major contributors to the school’s advancement efforts. “We were raised to believe that if you made it, you had an obligation to give back,” they said in a joint statement.
The Smiths have been in the auto club and insurance industry for more than 50 years and are active investors in real estate businesses in Florida and Massachusetts.
They credit Suffolk University with giving them their start in business. “We appreciate our Suffolk education. It taught us how to run a business professionally and gave us the skills we needed to create and grow a successful business on our own,” they said.
The Smiths are natives of Chelsea, Mass., and graduated from Chelsea High School.