Man behind the building

By Andy Dosev

Have you ever wondered why the University named a structure after Martin V Smith? You might not be the only one.

Also known as Bud Smith, this man was a philanthropist by heart. If it was not for Smith, CI would’ve had a much more difficult time opening its doors. “This latest in landmark developments of the University is the result of a recent $3 million pledge from the Martin V and Martha K. Smith Foundation,” said an article from the CI News Center.

Where did his massive fortune come from? Smith built a real estate empire that spanned all of Ventura County. In his prime there were more than 200 properties affiliated with him, according to Holly J. Wolcott of the LA Times. For a span of four decades he also owned the Ventura County Railway. “Our railroad is only 13 miles long, but we’re just as wide as the rest of them,” he said to the LA Times’ Denise Hamilton.

More important than his financial successes were his altruistic tendencies. In 1994 The Martin V and Martha K. Smith Foundation donated more than $16 million to local organizations for the betterment of the community. Even after his passing in 2001, Martin has left a legacy of giving, last year alone the organization awarded grants of $485,000 according to the Ventura County Community Foundation.

So, next time that a student walks by and asks who this stranger’s name is, hopefully a peer can shed some light and explain the good deeds that have been done.

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