Reggie Smith Pledges Lifelong Support for USD

Reggie Smith has remained an active volunteer and supporter of the University of San Diego since the early 1960s.

Reggie Smith has remained an active volunteer and supporter of the University of San Diego since the early 1960s.

Reggie Smith still remembers the day she first saw the bronze statue of San Diego de Alcalá on the lawn outside Copley Library. One hand was outstretched, the other carried a basket of fruit. For Reggie, the statue represented both the social teachings of the Catholic Church and the higher calling of everyone at the University of San Diego—to live justly, to walk humbly and to help those less fortunate.

It was that higher calling that made her fall in love with USD and the reason why she's remained an active volunteer and a supportive donor for more than a half century.

"This place is special," says Reggie, who first visited campus in the early 1960s and who is also the parent of a law school graduate, "Its beautiful gardens, fountains, art and architecture—combined with a broad and deep liberal arts education—also make its students special."

Students, she continued, "aren't just earning a degree, they're learning a philosophy of life. They're learning a respect for dignity, the value of hard work and accomplishment, a commitment to individuals and community and a love of lifelong learning."

More Than Just a Volunteer
Reggie has been an integral part of many campus endeavors, even before the San Diego College for Women and the San Diego College for Men merged in 1972 to form what is now the University of San Diego. She worked with Sister Sally Furay, and later Judy Rauner, to establish what is now the Karen and Tom Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness and Social Action. It started with five USD students tutoring children from the Hmong community in math and English at the library in Linda Vista. Recently, students working through the Mulvaney Center logged nearly 464,000 hours in myriad community engagement activities.

"This program has grown beyond all my dreams," Reggie says. "Today, the work of those students can be seen all over the world. I can't tell you how happy that makes me."

Reggie served on the President's Advisory Council for USD's first president, Author E. Hughes. She helped establish the Manchester Family Child Development Center, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015, and served for three years as its first board president. She also served on the Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, which oversaw the safety of people participating in research projects through the Hahn School of Nursing.

Reggie also knew Joan Kroc and her daughter, and has been involved with, and supported, the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice since its founding.

"I look at the IPJ and all the things the School of Peace Studies is doing and I know Mrs. Kroc would have been proud," Reggie says. "The Women PeaceMakers, for example, are so inspiring. They have fought against injustice, they have crossed the most difficult boundaries and they have
done great things to make the world a better place."

These are just a few of the programs Reggie says she will continue to support through her planned gift to USD. By including the University of San Diego in her estate, she is ensuring that many of the programs she's been part of will continue to thrive for generations to come.

"I'm proud to know that each program I helped start has flourished," she says. "I'm so proud when I see the university investing in experts to teach our students and oversee our programs. I was thrilled when USD opened the new Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering because it's an amazing complement to the rest of USD's curriculum."

She says she feels lucky that USD has been such an important part of her life.

"The only way that a university can grow, expand and maintain so many important programs, is through the help of its donors," Reggie says. "This university has been an exciting place to be and I can't imagine what my life would have been like without it. I'm grateful that I've been able to be part of USD's growth and change over the years and I can't think of a better place to invest my time and my treasure."

Like Reggie, you too can leave a gift that opens doors of opportunity for future USD students. Contact Erin Jones at or (619) 260-4523 to discuss giving options that fit your unique situation.

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5998 Alcalá Park
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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of San Diego a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

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