Matt Smith was a student-athlete at South Mountain Community College in the early 1990s. He was the school’s valedictorian in 1993.
Matt Smith grew up in upstate New York until he was 13-years old, when his family relocated to Arizona. After graduating from Dobson High School, Matt planned to take a year of coursework at South Mountain Community College before transferring to Georgetown University. He ended up staying at SMCC as an Honors Student and a successful soccer player, until he moved to finish his degree at a Liberal Arts college in the Midwest. He remembers driving from his home in Mesa down Baseline Road to come to South. The campus, though it was only 20 minutes from where he went to high school, felt like it was still “away,” since few of his friends attended SMCC, and the rural separation was noticeable at the time.
Matt attended law school at Arizona State University, but he continued to spend time at South Mountain Community College. First, he took over as the Honors Program Director when his mother, Helen Smith, went on sabbatical. He then became the Women’s Soccer Coach, picked up a few Political Science classes, and designated himself the unofficial “office mover.” In his time at SMCC, Matt saw several presidents come and go, he served on a variety of committees, and he took on many responsibilities. But, it always moved him to see some of the campus founders remain committed to the work they started when the campus first opened.
Matt now coordinates the Law Magnet program at South Mountain Community College. He still makes that same drive, more than 20 years later, down Baseline. The rose gardens are gone, but the legacy of the community and the college are still present.
Faculty Researcher: Summer Cherland