Michael Smith to speak at graduation

Michael SmithCentralia College will welcome alumnus Michael Smith to campus to provide the keynote speech at the commencement ceremony June 17.

Smith is a Centralia College graduate, former basketball star, and the namesake for the Michael Smith Gymnasium.

Smith played basketball for the Blazers from 1962 to 1964, becoming the top junior college scorer in the state with a 22.1 points per game average and making the All-State Junior College Team. Smith transferred to Central Washington State College, where an ankle injury ended his basketball career.

Smith went on to own a full service real estate company comprised of residential, commercial/investment, land development, builder services, mortgage, and escrow divisions. His Bellevue-based company was consistently recognized by REAL TRENDS, a national real estate publication, as one of the Top 500 “Mega Broker” real estate companies in the United States based upon closed sales volume.

Smith has been actively involved in recent years in giving back to his hometown community. He has personally raised more than $500,000 for construction of the Vernetta M. Smith Chehalis Timberland Library, which bears his mother’s name, and for the newly constructed Gail Shaw Aquatic Center in Chehalis. He and his brothers are presently involved in a W. F. West Student Achievement Initiative in collaboration with Centralia College to promote awareness and provide mentorship to help students obtain their college degrees and compete for post-college job opportunities.

Smith has also been instrumental as a donor in support of Centralia College programs and has established and funded scholarship endowments for Chehalis, Centralia, and Lewis County student athletes.

The commencement ceremony will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, June 17, at Littel Commencement Field. Also speaking will be Ron Podmore, the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.



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