BYU Marriott Alum and Former Professor Scott Smith Honored

PROVO, Utah – Nov 03, 2019 – BYU Marriott alumnus and former marketing professor Scott Smith was honored during Homecoming Week at Brigham Young University with the prestigious Alumni Achievement Award presented from the BYU Marriott School of Business. Each college from BYU presents the award every year to a graduate with significant professional accomplishments. Smith joined the other recipients in receiving the award during a special homecoming ceremony on Thursday, 17 October 2019.

In addition, as part of the recognition, each achievement award recipient delivers a lecture to students. Smith delivered his lecture to BYU Marriott students the next day on Friday, 18 October. BYU Marriott Dean Brigitte C. Madrian introduced Smith before his address. “It would take the statistical capabilities of Qualtrics to measure all of Scott Smith’s accomplishments. It’s lucky then that Scott Smith founded the company,” she said. Qualtrics is an experience-management company that recently sold to SAP for $8 billion.

During Smith’s lecture to BYU Marriott students, he spoke about the importance of taking the road less traveled. “The road less traveled is the one you have to forge yourself,” he said. “It requires you to become more than you are, and sometimes the choice is less about which road you take and more about your effort while on the road.”

He shared his experience starting Qualtrics and the challenges that ensued. “Running any business, particularly a startup, at some point becomes absolutely, irrationally hard,” Smith said. “You need to be all in and work as passionately as you can.”

He encouraged BYU Marriott students to push themselves beyond their limits and strive for excellence, not only in their work but also with their families and in their faith. “If it’s hard, it is probably worth it,” he said.

Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from BYU Marriott in 1971. He later attended Penn State University, where he earned a PhD. Smith then returned to his alma mater to teach for more than thirty years as a marketing professor at BYU Marriott.

Though an accomplished businessman, Smith has dedicated his time outside of work to help others. He and his wife, Karen, have served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hong Kong and Jerusalem, where they coordinated humanitarian efforts. They have also been ordinance workers in the Provo Utah and Hong Kong China temples.

Smith is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at Utah Valley University. Additionally, he supports the Huntsman Cancer Center and BYU Marriott. He and Karen have nine children, thirty grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Scott Smith
Former BYU Marriott professor Scott Smith. Photo courtesy of BYU Photo.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Nikaela Smith