A beloved colleague and friend to all, Suzi Smith has served NIRSA via a 17-year tenure as a NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors member. Suzi served with distinction, passion, and expertise—and her work has led to significant results since it began in 2003. Suzi has been the one consistent factor leading the Foundation to success these last seventeen years.

Her mentorship of incoming board members, her grace and gratitude towards all, and her creative expertise have greatly impacted the Foundation over time. No individual has served on a board within NIRSA for this length of time, and it’s unlikely to happen again. Suzi has led by example in achieving the Leadership Level of giving, she’s made a commitment to the Legacy Society, she is a member of the Founder’s Circle, and she has provided significant meaningful service and countless hours of service to our NIRSA.

In thinking about her relationship with Suzi, current NIRSA Board Member, Lexi Chaput from the University of Michigan said, “I feel so fortunate to have worked with and learned from Suzi during our time together on the Foundation Board. She has been such a vital part of both the establishment and the evaluation of the Foundation, and has done so with gratitude at the heart of all her work.”

Past NIRSA Foundation Board President Loretta Capra (retired from Colorado State) reflected on Suzi with these thoughts: “Suzi Smith is one of the most sincere, real, heartfelt people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She is a worker bee and it is her hard work and energy that gets the job done every time. I’ve always been amazed at her ability to remember the smallest element, significant or not, and she has an incredible eye for detail. I appreciate Suzi’s ability to bring forward differing perspectives in a caring, thoughtful, and non-biased manner. She encourages people to look at all aspects of a situation and think outside of the box. Her viewpoint helps to strengthen anything she is involved in.”

To honor her outstanding contributions to the Association, a group of Suzi’s friends worked with NIRSA Headquarters staff to establish the Suzi Smith Endowment within the Foundation’s endowment offerings. With an amazing outpouring from Suzi’s friends and NIRSA family, we have nearly reached our goal of $28,000 to establish the endowment as a thank you to Suzi and to celebrate her service to the Foundation. To make an online gift in honor of Suzi service, please select Friends of Oakland (this name will change once Suzi settles on a purpose and endowment name!) in the drop down menu or contact NIRSA Director of Philanthropy Kim Holmes for other giving options.


  • To learn more about the endowment in honor of Suzi Smith or other NIRSA Foundation activities, please contact NIRSA Director of Philanthropy Kim Holmes.
Associate Director at The University of Texas at Arlington | NIRSA Profile

Chris Muller, Member of the NIRSA Foundation, is currently an Associate Director at The University of Texas at Arlington.