Suffolk University renamed its oldest and largest residence hall in honor of two of its most esteemed graduates,
Michael and Larry Smith, during a ceremony Friday at the hall located at 150 Tremont St. across from Boston Common.
Shawn A. Newton, associate dean of students, served as master of ceremonies for the program.
“I’m extremely happy to welcome you to 150 Tremont St. today, Suffolk’s oldest and largest residence which is about to have its name changed,” said Newton. “Today we’re honoring with our special guests, Michael and Larry Smith, who without your generosity and support – thank you for being role models and for being great leaders. We truly appreciate your support to Suffolk.”
Marisa Kelly, just hours before her inauguration as the new president of Suffolk University, noted the history of Suffolk’s first residence hall and praised the Smith brothers for their extraordinary history of philanthrophy to the University.
“It really is a great day at Suffolk University and I’m so excited to be a part of this incredible dedication,” said Kelly. “This is the residence hall that launched Suffolk on the new chapter of this educational journey when it opened as the university’s very first on-campus home for students in 1976.”
Recognizing the Smiths’ ongoing generosity to the University, Kelly told the assemblage, “Michael and Larry Smith are really doing so much to build community here, of course by all of their contributions, but specifically what they’re doing to build community as part of our residence life program.”
Kelly said Michael (Class of 1961) and Larry (Class of 1965) each earned business degrees at Suffolk “and they were armed to find great success in the insurance business. They have been incredibly generous to their alma mater. Larry Smith now serves as a member of the University’s board of trustees. We thank you, Michael and Larry, for your loyalty to Suffolk, your exemplary generosity and we’re just so grateful for your involvement here.”
After receiving a warm ovation from the many guests in attendance, the two brothers, who grew up in Chelsea, took the podium for the ceremonial unveiling of the rendering for the new Michael and Larry Smith Residence Hall.
Michael spoke first, thanking the University “for this great honor. “I wish my mom and dad were here to see it.”
“I love this university,” he said. “It helped us grow. I want to thank everyone for showing up today. It’s just overwhelming. When I went to college in the early 1960s, we had one building. It was a great education, great professors and I’m so proud of Boston and Suffolk University. I wish everyone the best success.”
Larry, a basketball star at Suffolk and at Chelsea High School, echoed his brothers’ sentiments, stating, “we’re very, very proud of Suffolk University.”
Larry recalled his humble beginnings as a boy, working early mornings in Boston as a window and floor washer. He said he would then change in to his school clothes at Chelsea High. He became a scholar-athlete on the basketball team and earned a scholarship to Suffolk.
“The tuition at that time was $600 and Suffolk University and Charlie Law came and gave me a scholarship,” he said.