Faculty rank: Professor, Business, Accounting and Management
Office of the President
“My dream is that Geneva College will be known for ‘setting the standard’ in Christian education, that others will look to Geneva to see not only how Christian education, but education in general, should be done.” President Ken Smith, inaugural address
As Geneva College’s chief executive officer and primary spokesperson, President Ken Smith is charged with leading and raising support for the organization as a whole. He has general supervision and control over the entire college, and serves as the official connector between the board of trustees and the faculty, students and staff. He also has the responsibility of raising awareness and support for the college and building relationships with alumni and the community.
Smith has a long-time familiarity with the college and brings a unique blend of personal and professional experience to the office of president. During his years as a student at Geneva, he developed a foundation in business administration and political science, as well as a more personal relationship with Christ as his Savior.
“Geneva really gave me an opportunity to start saying, ‘Do I believe this because I believe it or because I heard it all my life?’ It really contributed to me growing up and getting serious,” he says. Later, Smith would spend 10 years as a member of Geneva’s board of trustees.
Smith earned a master’s degree in economic and social development at the University of Pittsburgh. He and his wife, Becky, were married in 1982, and he spent the next several years traveling the world as an international development management consultant for the University of Maryland, as well as pursuing a Ph.D. in strategic management. In 1990, Smith accepted a faculty position in the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in New York and earned tenure in 1996.
Since his inauguration in 2004, President Smith has served as a faithful and effective leader for Geneva College. But even more than his business knowledge, faculty experience, and love for the college, his success is due to his ever-deepening faith in Jesus Christ.
“As I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, He has impressed upon me two particular doctrines that I believe have come to characterize my thinking. First, the doctrine of the church has helped me understand that through my union with Christ, I am part of His body — His church — and that I do not stand alone. Rather, my life in Christ is relational. Secondly, I have been impressed by the doctrine of adoption. I have been given new understanding that I am part of Jesus’ church not by any merit found in me, but by his grace only. This understanding was driven home to me when my wife and I adopted a son from Russia and I reflected on how God adopts each of us into his family.
“Both of these doctrines apply directly to my responsibilities as president of Geneva College. The doctrine of unity in Christ suggests that the president does not, cannot and should not stand alone. I believe in teamwork as a model and think it is consistent with the doctrine of the church. Likewise, because of the doctrine of adoption, I believe that we can call on God, our Father, who loves to give good things to his children. And so we pray. We live by the faith that He has given us, relying on Him to give us what we need to accomplish the purpose to which He has called us.”
Smith is a member of College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church in Beaver Falls. He and Becky have six children: Ian, Abaigeal, Bonnie, Fiona, Alexander and Madelyn.