Richard A. Smith dies at 95

first_imgRichard A. Smith, a former member of both of Harvard’s governing boards, has died at age 95. Smith was a member of the Harvard Corporation from 1991 to 2000, and an Overseer from 1989 to 1991. A prominent philanthropist, executive, nonprofit trustee, and Harvard citizen, he and his wife, Susan, provided a transformative gift to the University for the redesign and renovation of what was formerly Holyoke Center, and the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center opened in 2018.Smith was also a member of the governing boards’ Joint Committee on Appointments for eight years, sat on the executive committee of the Committee on University Resources, and was a member of several visiting committees. In addition, he served on the board of the Harvard Management Company, which manages the University’s endowment.“Dick Smith loved Harvard,” recalled Harvard President Larry Bacow, “and he always looked on the institution with a critical eye — wondering how it could and should be improved for the people who would care for it after him. The University we know today would not be the same without his efforts and his generosity. Together with his wife Susan, Dick created for all of us a campus center that has truly become the heart of our community, a gathering place that celebrates the best of what we can be when we are together — creative, energized, and optimistic. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered.”He was a member of the College Class of 1946 and had enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard in 2001, cited for “[h]is incisive mind, his concern for the fundamental values and purposes of Harvard, his great experience, and his eye for what is really significant in a given situation.” His honorary-degree citation recognized him as a “superlative and civic-minded executive, whose insight and dedication have invigorated medical research and advanced the enterprise of education.”An engaged and devoted alumnus, Smith was chair of the Class of 1946, chair of his 50th and 55th Reunion Gift Steering Committees, and a member of the Harvard College Fund Council.Richard A. Smith (center) with President Larry Bacow and President Emerita Drew Faust at the 2018 opening of the Smith Campus Center. Jon Chase/Harvard file photoSmith graduated from the Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge in 1942. At Harvard, he lived in Lowell House. He played squash, tennis, basketball, and football, and he participated in the Navy V-12 program.After World War II, Smith went to work for General Cinema Corp., then a family-controlled drive-in theater chain. Rising to become chairman and  chief executive officer, he led the company’s development into a diversified enterprise known as Harcourt General Inc., a Fortune 500 company that at various times included movie theaters, publishing houses, retail stores (including Neiman Marcus), and other lines of business.For decades, Smith was a leading figure in Boston’s nonprofit community. Along with his wife, he had a distinguished history of philanthropy and service not only to Harvard but to affiliated medical institutions, including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he was chair of the board of trustees, the Joslin Diabetes Center, and Beth Israel Hospital, where he was a trustee.His and Susan’s legacy gift to Harvard made possible the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center, which has become an anchor for Harvard’s campus and a crossroads for the community. At its opening, President Emerita Drew Faust said the re-created center would “enable us to change how we can be together, how we can learn from one another, and how we can advance the fundamental purposes of this extraordinary institution. The Smith family’s generosity launched us onto the path of making this real. They enabled this dream, and we are incredibly grateful.” The center has won numerous awards since its opening, including the Harleston Parker Medal.Other gifts from the couple include the Smith Family Graduate Science and Engineering Fellowship, which from 2011 to 2019 has provided 175 awards to almost 150 Ph.D. students in the sciences at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The Smiths also endowed graduate fellowships supporting students in the arts and in Jewish studies in the 1980s, and made other generous gifts supporting the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and SEAS, including support that enabled the launch of the Harvard Integrated Life Sciences Graduate Program.Smith was co-founder and chair emeritus of The Smith Family Foundation, whose mission is “to effect permanent positive change in the lives of individuals and families across Greater Boston, especially in economically disadvantaged communities.”Smith’s generosity and drive to serve extended deep into the Boston nonprofit world, with several prominent leadership roles for diverse organizations whose missions ranged from cancer research to the arts to education. He chaired the board of Facing History and Ourselves and served as a trustee, director, or member of organizations that included the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Combined Jewish Philanthropies, John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, and United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation.Upon his departure from the Corporation in 2000, Smith spoke of what his service to Harvard meant to him, describing it as an “awesome responsibility” that “has challenged my academic capabilities and pressured me to mine my business and social service career experience in order to contribute as much as possible.”“In my opinion, Harvard is at the peak of its intellectual and financial strength, and is poised to render continuing great service to mankind.”Smith is survived by three children and their spouses, Amy Smith Berylson ’75, M.B.A. ’79, and John Berylson, M.B.A. ’79; Robert A. Smith ’81, M.B.A. ’85, and Dana Smith, Ed.M. ’92; and Debra Smith Knez; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Susan Flax Smith, in 2016, and son James A. Smith in 1970.last_img read more

Welcome, rooks: Ayton, Bamba, Trier sparkle in NBA debuts

first_imgBy today ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Mo Bamba heard his name over Orlando’s public address system for the first time during introductions, and waved his arms to the crowd asking for their cheers.Then the game started.He didn’t have to solicit noise anymore.Welcome to the NBA, rookie class of 2018-19. There were 31 newcomers who got their first official playing time Wednesday, the initial hectic night on this season’s schedule. Some of those debuts were forgettable, some barely noticeable, but a few — like No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton in Phoenix, the No. 6 overall pick in Bamba and even undrafted rookie Allonzo Trier in New York — stood out.“Felt pretty good,” Bamba said. “It was everything I expected it to be.”He wasn’t the only rookie smiling Wednesday.Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Phoenix. The Suns won 121-100. (AP Photo/Matt York)Ayton made his first three shots and finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as Phoenix eased past Dallas. Bamba was clutch for Orlando, putting together a 13-point, seven-rebound, two-block effort in the Magic win over Miami. And maybe it was fitting — Ayton and Trier had plenty of big nights together at Arizona as collegians last season, and they had another one Wednesday, albeit about 2,400 miles apart.Trier had 15 points for the Knicks in their easy win over Atlanta, two of those points coming on a down-the-lane dunk where he went either past or over four Hawks players, a play that even had New York coach David Fizdale celebrating.“Some things happen in a game sometimes and you just go, ‘Whoa,’” Fizdale said.After two nights of this season, 35 players have made their NBA debuts. That’s just the first of many waves; 119 rookies got into at least one game last season, a figure helped mightily by the emergence of two-way contracts. Last season’s newcomer total was the league’s highest since 1949-50 when 120 debuted — in large part because what was the 12-team BAA the year before became the 17-team NBA that season.Atlanta’s Trae Young, the No. 5 pick in the draft, made his first NBA shot. The make was a notable event for Young, who said that he airballed his first shot attempt in high school, in college and at the NBA Summer League in July.Progress, indeed.“This is just one of many,” Young said, not sounding worried about the Hawks’ rocky opener.None of the rookies so far have had monster numbers, but then again, those are rare in debuts.The record for points by someone in his first game is held by Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 43 for the Philadelphia Warriors at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks on Oct. 24, 1959. A year later, Oscar Robertson’s first NBA game resulted in his first triple-double – 21 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists. LeBron James had 25 in 2003, two months shy of his 19th birthday.Those were the start of great careers.But bad first games don’t doom anyone to a life of mediocrity, either.Steve Nash, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and Dennis Rodman combined for zero points in their debuts. Kobe Bryant went scoreless his first time out as well, and he’ll be joining that foursome in the Basketball Hall of Fame soon anyway. Michael Jordan shot 5 for 16 to start his career. Kevin Durant went 7 for 22 in his opening game with Seattle.“You never forget the first game,” said Miami’s Dwyane Wade, who scored 18 points in his debut in 2003 and still recalls how he spent some of that night being guarded by Allen Iverson. “You’re going to get better. You’re nervous. You can’t change that. It’s going to be a big moment in your life, and you’re going to grow from that moment. And then you’re going to have a lot of other moments.”Ayton might have looked ready on the court, but in the locker room he’s going to be reminded of his newcomer status all season.The Suns’ Trevor Ariza interrupted Ayton’s first NBA postgame interview. “Where are the towels, rook?” Ariza asked, reminding the rookie of one of his rookie duties.Ayton stopped, stepped out and returned with a tall stack of towels. Lighthearted hazing notwithstanding, the Suns know what they have.“I knew he was something special,” Phoenix guard Devin Booker said. “I think people are always nervous for their first game. That’s usually three trips down the court and then it just comes back to basketball. When you are that talented and have the abilities that he does, the game is just going to come to you.”Some of the openers on Wednesday were statistically nonexistent — three debuts were logged officially at lasting less than one minute, seven of the rookies on the floor didn’t attempt any shots, and the average per-rook was less than 5 points per game.Ayton and Bamba dazzled. No. 3 pick Luka Doncic had 10 points and eight rebounds, but misfired on 11 of his 16 shots. No. 11 pick Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 11 points for the Clippers. It wasn’t just lottery guys who stood out – second-round pick Bruce Brown started for Detroit, and Trier made MSG take notice.The challenge now for Trier, Bamba, Ayton and every other rookie? Getting ready for the rest of the season.“Now it’s just a matter of doing that 81 more times,” Bamba said.___AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney in New York and AP Sports Writer Bob Baum in Phoenix contributed to this story. Orlando center Mo Bamba celebrates during an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won the game 104-101. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP)last_img read more

Cavaliers’ coaching situation unclear after Lue’s firing

first_imgINDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) — After an emotional day and restless night, Larry Drew went back to work.He organized practice, met with stunned players still reeling from Tyronn Lue’s firing and put the Cleveland Cavaliers through drills as they prepared for Tuesday’s game.But after walking off the floor, Drew, the team’s top assistant coach under Lue for the past two years, wanted to make something clear.“I’m not the interim coach,” he said emphatically. “I’m the voice right now.”So much for Cleveland’s transition game.Drew added a surprising wrinkle to Lue’s dismissal on Monday by saying he’s not ready to commit to the Cavaliers in the long term until he gets a new contract. Drew said his agent, Andy Miller, has been with talks with the team about restructuring his deal. Drew is under contract through this season.“I’m sure you guys are aware that there are some talks that are going on,” Drew told reporters. “I don’t know if any type of agreement or settlement will be made. I am prepared either way. I’ll continue to do my job, but right now there’s not been any type of agreement.”Drew said he plans to coach the team Tuesday night against Atlanta, but after that, nothing is definitive.He was asked if “acting” coach was a more fitting title.“I guess that would be more accurate, more consistent,” he said.General manager Koby Altman fired Lue, who in 2016 became the only coach to win a pro sports championship in Cleveland since 1964, on Sunday because he felt the team was underachieving. The Cavaliers are 0-6 in their first season since three-time champion LeBron James left them for the second time as a free agent.They had hoped to remain competitive while developing young players like rookie guard Collin Sexton. But the plan wasn’t working with Lue, forcing Altman to make a difficult decision.“The challenge of this year was we had a mix of veterans and young guys and that’s a complex situation that’s difficult,” Altman said. “It didn’t come together the way we envisioned and we just didn’t think coach Lue was the right fit for this group. We wanted to go in a different direction, a different coach and a different voice.”Enter Drew, who went 8-1 while filling in last season when Lue was dealing with health issues.Drew understands what the Cavs are up against and he’s prepared to take it on.“It’s not a very complicated situation,” he said. “It’s obvious this team is going in a different direction with the group that we do have and with the decisions that have been made with the organization. I would like to be part of it long term, to be perfectly honest. I’ve been through the rebuilding process as a player and as a coach and I feel I know what it takes. Certainly when you talk about rebuilding, it’s not an easy thing to do. It’s usually something that takes a little time.“If it’s going to take some time, I’d like to be part of that. I made the organization pretty aware of that, that this is something that’s not going to happen overnight. In order to be a part of that, I feel that it’s going to have to be something done with a little bit more security.”Altman said the Cavaliers feel fortunate to have someone with Drew’s experience as a possibility to lead the team through the remainder of a challenging season. Altman thought the players responded well to Drew during their first practice together.Drew went 143-169 in four seasons as an NBA coach. He was fired after going 15-67 with Milwaukee in 2013-14.Lue, who played for Drew, was the first one to call his former coach after he was let go by the Bucks. Drew has never forgotten that gesture and they formed a tight friendship.Drew spent part of Sunday at Lue’s home.“I mean the job that he did here has been unbelievable,” Drew said. “I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he’s done. But before I left yesterday I told him how much I appreciated him, and I know he’s going to be OK. He’s still going to be Ty, though. Ty’s going to be Ty. But I’m going to miss him.”___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports In this April 1, 2018 file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers interim coach Larry Drew gestures to his team during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Phil Long, File)last_img read more