Today is GiveUNC, the University’s annual day of giving. As Dean Mike Smith is set to step down as Dean at the end of this year, today we are celebrating his 30 years of leadership at the School. The message below invites you to honor his service and legacy with a gift supporting the Mike R. Smith Dean’s Greatest Needs Fund which will provide unrestricted funds that will allow the School to support and address current needs and issues facing North Carolina. The importance of today is less about the amount raised and more about the number of donors – a testament to the value of the School and what we do.
When Dean Mike Smith asked me to join the UNC School of Government Foundation Board in 2014, I was honored to have the opportunity to work in support of an institution that has done so much for my home state of North Carolina. I also feel fortunate, however, to have had the opportunity to do this work alongside Mike.
The School is an incredibly unique institution. Its value to our communities, our state, and the University of North Carolina is immutable. Mike has always understood this and has been a tireless champion of the School and its faculty and staff during his 30-year career as dean. He passionately believes in the values of the School that so many of us have benefitted from—its responsiveness to the needs of our communities, its firm commitment to non-partisanship, and its staunch support of public service.
As Mike prepares to step down from his position as dean at the end of 2022, I know many of us want to honor his contributions to the School and to the state. Today on GiveUNC, I invite you to join me in honoring Mike’s leadership and service with a gift to the Mike R. Smith Dean’s Greatest Needs Fund. This fund has been created to give future deans of the School of Government the flexibility to direct resources to innovative and timely projects.
In honor of Mike’s service, I am joining with other School of Government Foundation Board members to issue a special GiveUNC challenge: 30 gifts to the Mike R. Smith Dean’s Greatest Need Fund today will unlock a $25,000 gift to the School from members of the Board.
I hope you will join me today by supporting the School of Government. No matter where you direct your gift, you are making a difference for local leaders across the state of North Carolina—and honoring our friend Mike Smith, a champion of the School.
Dana Simpson, ’96 BA, ’00 JD
President, School of Government Foundation Board
Partner, Smith Anderson