Florida Atlantic University


Remembering Alumnus and Local Businessman Phil Smith


Remembering Alumnus and Local Businessman Phil Smith

Last week we learned the sad news that alumnus and local businessman Phil Smith passed away.

Phil graduated from FAU with a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1969. Like many of our students, he commuted to school and balanced his studies with the demands of work and family. He worked as a lifeguard and valet, before getting a job selling cars during his senior year at FAU.

Phil worked hard over the years and had a great career, serving as president and CEO of Phil Smith Management, which operates eleven automobile dealerships and the Coral Ridge Country Club. He even went back and bought the dealership where he got his start selling cars.

In August, FAU announced a $5 million gift from Phil and his wife, Susan, to establish the Phil Smith Center for Free Enterprise at the College of Business. The main tower at the College will be named Phil Smith Hall in his honor.

I had the pleasure of publicly thanking Phil and presenting him with the President’s Distinguished Service Medallion at our first home football game this September.

Phil also was prominent in helping to establish FAU as Broward’s university, and in recent years he served on the FAU Foundation Board of Directors. In 2015, he was named a distinguished alumnus of the College of Business.

In addition to their generous support of FAU, Phil and Susan gave back to the community through their involvement with the Humane Society of Broward County; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; American Cancer Society; Holy Cross Hospital; Northwood University; Nova Southeastern University; the Orange Bowl Committee and Junior Achievement.

Phil left a real legacy at this University and in our community, and he will always be a cherished member of the FAU family.

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 Last Modified 12/19/16