CSU grad gives $1 million to university

A 1963 alumnus pledged a $1 million gift to Central State University on Tuesday.

Josh Smith, a businessman and radio journalist, presented a $100,000 check to the university at a luncheon on Tuesday, as part of his overall pledge of $1 million.

"Thanks to the generosity of Josh and Jackie Smith, the university will enhance its ongoing commitment to prepare innovative leaders for the future," Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, CSU president, said in a news release.

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Tuesday's pledge is just the latest gift from the Smith family. In 2007, Smith was inducted into the 1887 Legacy Society in recognition of a $250,000 insurance gift that was increased to $500,000 in 2013. That same year, he contributed $50,000 to WCSU-FM.

"Jackie and I are pleased to continue our support of my beloved alma mater," Smith said. "We look forward to empowering more students at Central State University to use their education to have a long-term positive impact on the world."

Smith is a cum laude graduate of Central State, and did graduate work in law and business administration at the University of Akron and Central Michigan University. He has been chairman and managing partner of The Coaching Group since 1998.

Smith serves on the board of directors of four Fortune 100 companies: Caterpillar, Inc., FedEx Corp., Allstate Corp. and SCORE. He serves as vice chairman of Comp Care, Inc., a publicly traded health care services firm. He has also served on the board of directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Inland Steel, and the Board of Visitors of Bowie State University, where he was chairman.

Smith was featured in a recent Black Enterprise article, "Meet America's Most Powerful Corporate Directors.

In 2008, Smith launched a weekly radio show called Biz Talk With Josh, which airs on the CBS Radio network. The talk show focuses on issues impacting entrepreneurs, small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Smith was appointed by former President George H.W. Bush to serve in the following capacities: chairman of the U.S. Commission on Minority Business Development from 1989 to 1992; the executive committee of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations; the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; and the George H.W. Bush Memorial Library Board of Trustees.

Early in his career, he was a high school teacher in Washington, D.C. He also served on the faculties of Central State University and the University of Akron.

Smith lives in suburban Washington, D.C., with his wife, the Rev. Jacqueline Jones-Smith.