Published: Nov. 18, 2021 By
CU Boulder campus from the air.

Doug Smart (Fin’20) graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder barely more than a year ago, but he already has an eye toward the next generation with a new undergraduate scholarship.

He earned his degree in business finance and now works in corporate development at Accenture in Chicago, but wanted to endow a scholarship in a completely different field: environmental engineering.

“I thought about where I could make a real impact. Finance is important, but environmental engineering has a tangible impact in the world. We’re kind of in trouble with the environment,” Smart said.

Smart began his college career at Miami University of Ohio, but transferred to CU Boulder his sophomore year, wanting more outdoor opportunities than the Midwest could offer. It changed his perspective on the environment and gave him a strong connection to CU Boulder culture.

“As soon as I transferred here, I was welcomed with open arms. I could tell Boulder cared about students and wanted to help the people involved with the institution,” he said. “When I graduated, I was convinced I was going to return the favor.”

Growing up in the Chicago metro area, Smart saw how his parents kept involved with their alma maters. His father mentored students and his mother served on the board of the University of Illinois.

“They kind of guided me through the process,” he said.

At CU Boulder, many of Smart’s friends were engineering students, and he even took a few courses in the Engineering Center.

“I think business school students should have to take higher-level math and science courses as electives. I did, but it wasn’t required. I feel it’s important to figure out how the world actually works with on a scientific level. I think it’s also important for engineers to know more about business.”

He is excited about the new Rustandy Building that physically joins the Engineering Center and Koelbel Building, hoping it will promote synergies between the programs and encourage more students to take cross-disciplinary courses.

Working with the Office of Advancement, Smart endowed a $5,000 annual scholarship in environmental engineering for students from diverse backgrounds. He also plans to work as a mentor with honorees.

“It’s not going to save the world, but it’s something,” Smart said. “I want more people to learn about the environment so that we have a better chance of saving it.

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