Mizzou Prof's Donation of Nobel Prize Money Inspired by Time in Liberal Arts | KBIA

Mizzou Prof's Donation of Nobel Prize Money Inspired by Time in Liberal Arts

Mar 13, 2019

Nobel Laureate George P. Smith, center right, listens to journalism students recounting covering his trip in Stockholm during Nobel Week in December 2018. Smith announced that he donated the majority of his prize money towards supporting students in the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science in Jesse Auditorium on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
Credit Benjamin Brink / KBIA

Nobel Laureate George Smith announced Tuesday he is donating the majority of his prize money toward creating a scholarship fund for the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science.

Smith was a recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was the first professor at the University of Missouri to receive a Nobel prize.

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said, “[George] and Marjorie decided to direct the money toward Mizzou to establish the Missouri Nobel Scholarship fund.” The Missouri Nobel Scholarship fund is aimed to support students in the College of Arts and Science.

Although Smith won his Nobel Prize in chemistry, he received a bachelor in arts.

“I consider my liberal arts education in college as a springboard for a lifetime of learning and cultural engagement,” Smith said. “This is why I think it’s really important to support culture in general as exemplified by the liberal arts.”

Smith’s nearly $250,000 donation was supplemented from the University of Missouri and the UM System with another $200,000 through the Missouri Compact Promise and Opportunity Scholarship Program.

Cartwright set aside a further $100,000 toward scholarships as part of a new tradition to continue anytime a faculty member receives a Nobel Prize.

These donations started off this year’s Mizzou Giving Day, where the University of Missouri will match dollar for dollar in donations toward scholarships. Giving Day runs from noon on Wednesday, March 13, to noon, Thursday, March 14.