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Central State alum Joshua Smith announces million dollar gift to Central State University

News Desk | 3/12/2014, 9:09 a.m.
Businessman and radio journalist Josh Smith donates one million dollar gift to Central State University.

Previously he was founder, chairman and CEO of The MAXIMA Corporation, a 20-year-old consultancy that achieved a national reputation as one of the top African American owned, and fastest-growing firms in the United States. In addition, earlier in his career, he was a high school teacher in Washington, D.C.; served on the faculties of Central State University and the University of Akron, both in Ohio; was executive director of the American Society for Information Science and served in executive management capacities for Herner and Company and Plenum Publishing Corporation.

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. He also chaired the Committee on Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the George Bush for President Campaign. In 2003, Smith chaired the special Task Force on Minority Business Reform for the State of Maryland, and subsequently served as an advisor to the Maryland Governor’s Commission on Minority Business Reform. In addition, he was appointed by the Governor of Maryland as a member of the board of directors of the Maryland Small Business Development Finance Authority.

Throughout his impressive career Smith has volunteered his time to promote small and minority business development and forming relationships with all segments of the business community. From 1986 to 2002 he was a member of the Maryland Stadium Authority (appointed by three different governors). He is the recipient of the Man of the Year Award from the Anti-Defamation League of B’Nai B’Rith; served on the National Fund Raising Campaign Committee of the NAACP; and was chairman of the National Urban Coalition. He has received honorary Doctorate degrees from the following universities: Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio; Bowie State University in Bowie, MD; Florida International University in Miami, FL; Sojourner Douglas College in Baltimore, MD; and Delaware State University in Dover, DE.

In recognition of his achievements and business acumen he has received over 300 awards, honors and other citations. Including being chosen by the U.S. Department of Commerce as its National Director’s Legacy Award recipient; by the Governor of the State of Maryland as a Business Legend; inducted into the African American Hall of Fame; recognized as the Business Leader of the Year by the Rainbow Push LaSalle Street Project (Jesse Jackson) for his countless contributions and loyalty to further the goals of equitable access to capital, inclusion and fairness in corporate business practices for people of color. In October 2009, Smith was recognized as MBE Advocate of the Year by the Western Pennsylvania Minority Supplier Development Council in appreciation of his demonstrated leadership role and commitment to supplier diversity development. In September 2010, Smith was presented with the highest honor bestowed by SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business -- the Lou Campinelli Award.

Smith lives in Suburban Washington, DC with his wife, Reverend Jacqueline Jones-Smith, former Pastor of Good Hope United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.

About Central State University

Founded in 1887, Central State University academically prepares students with diverse backgrounds and educational needs for leadership and service in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. The University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.