2010 The Foundation Hall is complete. Foundation and Development staff begin working in their new space. We have had over 100 events each year since moving into the Foundation Hall. Additionally, the number of fundraisers and annual private gifts have increased. Together, We Can Achieve Greatness This Beckley, West Virginia, native ended up at Marshall College as a second chance, funded by his grandparents. “My grandmother told me that I was wasting my time in Beckley and she was sending me to Marshall. My first year, I studied often. My second year, I got involved with student activities. After my sophomore year, my grandfather passed away and I was on my own. I earned enough to pay for one year and borrowed enough to cover one year. That is why I am so concerned about student debt. I know how important scholarships are.” A member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Mr. Kinzer also spent time playing bridge in the Student Union. “The student center was still ‘the center’,” he confirmed. “As a student, it was my favorite place on campus.” Most importantly, Mr. Kinzer met his wife of 53 years, Betty Sue, at Marshall. “She has supported and encouraged me in everything I have done for Marshall,” he states. As an adult, Mr. Kinzer’s favorite place on campus is one in which he takes a great deal of pride, the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall. “When I was Interim CEO of the Marshall University Foundation (2006-2007), we started the plans for the foundation building. It seemed nearly impossible. I negotiated with Menis Ketchum to get the piece of property, and I probably gave too much away, but it’s prime; it is where we should be. It’s a fabulous, fabulous, facility, and it was needed.” When the building opened in February 2010, it was known as the Marshall University Foundation Hall. Another dream came to fruition, Marshall had a place to house development and alumni staff. This past October, a generous gift from Brad and Alys Smith provided a name for the Foundation Hall and established a scholarship for West Virginia and Ohio residents to attend Marshall. “I was so pleased that Brad would provide such a contribution to Marshall University,” Kinzer said. “It is exhilarating. I am impressed that a man his age, with a family, would make that kind of commitment to his alma mater. It moved me to tears.” Without Mr. Kinzer’s close financial oversight, the Yeager program would not be where it is today. Mr. Kinzer just began his fourth three-year term serving on the Society of Yeager Scholars board. He dreams of enhancing the number of students in the Yeager program. “We have the structure for more students, but we need to provide the financial aid for them. We currently have seven to eight students in each class, but I would like to see 12 per class.” For the university in general, he feels the attention can now shift from facilities to the programs Marshall offers. Specifically, he refers to “identifying what programs are working, which ones we can weed out and becoming more prominent in programs like forensic science, the areas where we have a strong reputation.” Mr. Kinzer challenges fellow alumni to “dig down” when paying it forward, citing such initiatives as the Yeager program and Marshall’s “first-generation students” as priorities. “I believe one of the biggest moments in Marshall’s history is when we went from a college to a university. That was a big celebration. I thought the engineering school was unlikely, but thanks to Dr. Stephen J. Kopp and some good legislators, it happened. The engineering program is a dream come true. The Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall was a close second (in terms of unlikely capital projects),” said Mr. Kinzer. “Now, anything is possible.” 2008 Parking lot demolition begins in preparation of Foundation Hall construction. 2009 The structure is finished and anticipation is growing. 2015 The Foundation Hall becomes the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall. Building A Foundation “I would have never believed it (campus) would look like this even ten years ago. Ten years has really made that big of a difference.” - John Kinzer