Harold C. Smith was passionate about the students at Springfield College, the work of the YMCA, and strengthening the bond between these two organizations. Please make a contribution in memory of Harold and his legacy.

Harold C. Smith

On Oct. 20, 2017, Springfield College dedicated the Harold C. Smith Learning Commons. 

Harold C. Smith, H’98, was an active and valued member of the Springfield College Board of Trustees, serving as a Trustee for 31 years. During his tenure as Trustee, he served as chair of the Board’s investment committee and as a member of the Board’s executive committee.

After working for the YMCA Retirement Fund for 42 years, including 17 years as president, CEO, and chief investment officer, Smith retired in 2000. The fund experienced unprecedented growth in membership and assets under his management.

A tribute to Harold presented by the YMCA Retirement Fund at the annual Harold C. Smith Dinner on Nov. 15, 2017

Using a gift made by Smith, Springfield College established the Harold C. Smith YMCA Career Development Fund in 2013. The fund supports several areas of Y programming at Springfield College, including defraying costs for students to attend regional and national Y conferences and potential employment trips.

For his tireless efforts, Smith was inducted into the YMCA Hall of Fame in 2001. Smith served on numerous boards and committees, including the YMCA of Greater New York, the YMCA International Program Services Committee, and the Ursinus College Board of Trustees, among others.

Smith passed away March 21, 2017, in New York City at the age of 83.

Honoring Harold C. Smith

One of Smith’s lifelong goals was to strengthen the bond between Springfield College and the Y, two organizations that he served loyally and generously. Learn more.

There are three ways to support Harold's legacy.

The Joint Springfield College and YMCA Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program

Honoring Smith’s support of Y individuals in service to their mission, Springfield College is creating a bachelor’s degree completion program, an academic partnership between the Y and Springfield College. This partnership will serve as a pathway to career advancement and college degree completion for Y professionals around the country. Contributions will provide scholarships and assist with the program’s implementation.
Fundraising Target: $5 million

About the Program

Y employees will have a clear and expedited path to degree completion and will be able to tangibly capitalize on their investment in the leadership certification program by applying earned training credits directly as college credits. This would pertain to the first two levels: Team Leader Certification and the Multi-Team or Branch Leader Certification.

The third level of training is the Organizational Leader Certification, which requires completion of the first two training levels, plus the bachelor’s degree. Y employees who are working through the certification programs with ambitions to complete the Organizational Leader Certification will be inspired to complete the first two training levels and apply those credits to the bachelor’s degree. Once the certifications and the degree are attained, the employee is then qualified to complete the Organizational Leader Certification.

A pre-evaluation of the Y leadership certification program will be made by subject matter experts external to the College. Specialized pre-admission and continuing student advising will be provided by academic advisors and faculty members with strong Y experience and a deep understanding of the leadership certification program.

The curriculum at Springfield College will complement, reinforce, and build upon prior learning through Y training and professional experience, and be highly relevant to the Y career track. Although students could choose any number of concentrations, the community youth development and leadership concentration appears most germane for the majority of Y employees.

Once the online program is launched, Y employees from across the U.S. will have the opportunity to complete high-quality college degrees fully online without interrupting career development.

Your support will help ensure that students are able to complete their degrees and advance in their careers.

Make a gift

The National YMCA Hall of Fame

The creation of a new YMCA Hall of Fame exhibit relocated in the Harold C. Smith Learning Commons would provide greater visibility and access for College constituents and recognize Smith’s legacy with both institutions. Contributions will help relocate and digitize the Hall of Fame’s content.

In recognition of Springfield College’s historic partnership with the Y dating back to the College’s founding in 1885, the College was chosen as the permanent home for the National YMCA Hall of Fame in 1985. The National YMCA Hall of Fame is housed in the Stitzer YMCA Center within Judd Gymnasia on the Springfield College campus. It features plaques for inductees and interactive kiosks for visitors to research details on individual inductees.

The sponsoring organizations of the National YMCA Hall of Fame include the YMCA Retirement Fund, YMCA of the USA, the Association of YMCA Professionals, and Springfield College. This overseeing body has the responsibility of preserving the prominence of the National YMCA Hall of Fame at a level commensurate with the institutional legacy of the Y movement, fully incorporating the Y history by inducting past heroes, and educating.
Fundraising Target: $1 million

Make a gift

Harold C. Smith Learning Commons

Babson Library has been renovated into a modern learning commons that will serve as the center for academic life on campus, reflective of the teaching and learning styles of today’s students. The center has been named after Smith to honor his service of more than three decades as Trustee. Contributions in honor of Smith’s name will offset the costs of the Harold C. Smith Learning Commons.
Fundraising Target: $1 million

Make a gift

To find out how you can help honor and support Harold C. Smith’s legacy, contact the Office of Development at (800) 622-6072 or (413) 748-3124.