Area man to lead foundation at WKU

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By Amber Coulter

Hardin County native Donald Smith has been named president of Western Kentucky University’s College Heights Foundation by the foundation’s board.

The foundation manages private money given to WKU, intending to increase the fund and use it for scholarships, and special projects and programs.

Smith works at the college as associate vice president for development and alumni relations and as executive director of the WKU Alumni Association.

He’ll replace Alex Downing, who plans to leave the foundation at the end of the year for a position at Franklin Bank & Trust.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to serve as president of the College Heights Foundation,” he said. “I find the mission very compelling, and I was fortunate enough to attend WKU because of a generous scholarship provided by the CHF. I am forever indebted for the doors that were opened and the opportunities afforded to me as a result, and I am humbled and honored to serve in this new capacity.”

Mike Simpson, chairman of the College Heights Foundation board, said the decision to hire Smith was unanimous and enthusiastic.

Smith plans to continue working with the alumni association during its search for a new executive director.

He said he is proud about the future of the alumni association.

“There are many exciting things happening with the WKU Alumni Association, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the past 18 years being affiliated with such wonderful people who freely give of their time, talent and treasure to benefit their alma mater,” he said.

Smith began at WKU in 1994 as coordinator of the annual fund.

He has a bachelor’s degree in corporate and organizational communication from the school, a master’s in higher education leadership and a doctorate in higher education leadership policy from Vanderbilt University.

Amber Coultercan be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.