Marinus Smith 2019The Marinus Smith Award recognizes faculty and staff members who have had a particularly positive impact on our students. Honorees are nominated by those they teach, mentor, support and serve. 

In New Student & Family Programs, we believe that this award is particularly special, because nominators have taken it upon themselves to write about an individual who has made a remarkable impact on their time at the university. 

The faculty and staff receiving this award embody the true meaning of Be Boulder as they inspire, educate, and motivate our community through innovation and passion. The award winners leave a long lasting impact on our community. 

Our university, in partnership with students’ families, friends, and communities, serve as a springboard for students’ lives. Each award winner reminds us of what it truly means to teach, mentor, and support students to be the best version of themselves inside and outside of the classroom.   

Award Criteria

AwardThe nominee must advance the quality of education or the student experience at CU Boulder.

The nominee should model the integrity and ethical conduct that we expect of our CU Boulder students.

The nominee should demonstrate a high degree of respect for the contribution of every member of the CU Boulder community.

The nominee's actions should benefit the CU Boulder community by demonstrating excellence in their service and fostering a campus environment of inclusion, collaboration and personal responsibility.

History of the Award

The award is named after Marinus Smith, a 19th century Boulder resident who made significant contributions of land and money to support the establishment of the University of Colorado Boulder. Marinus G. Smith is a Colorado pioneer who made significant financial and land donations that made it possible for the university to locate in Boulder at the base of the Flatirons. In 1872, Marinus G. Smith, Anthony Arnett, and George and Mary Andrews donated 52 acres on the barren bluff south of town.

Two years later, the territorial legislature appropriated $15,000 for a building if the people of Boulder could match it. When Marinus G. Smith was asked by Professor J. Raymond Brackett if he would live to see the tree he was planting bear fruit, Smith replied , “Old men plant trees; young men can’t wait.” Smith, whom everyone called “Marine,” donated part of his University Hill acreage to the University of Colorado. Marine Street has been named in his honor.

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