Celebrating 40 years: the Edward C. Smith Sr. Carolina Scholarship

Garrett Hall '06
Garrett Hall ’06

Garrett Hall ‘06

Garrett Hall ’06, a business administration major, was an Edward C. Smith Sr. Family Carolina Scholar during his time at Carolina. After working with J.P. Morgan and the Carlyle Group’s AlphInvest Partners, Hall attended Harvard Business School, where he earned his MBA with distinction in 2012. He then returned to AlphInvest Partners where he currently works as vice president of the secondary private equity fund ($5.2 billion). Hall is happily married to Zach Howell ’06 and they live in New York City. During his free time, Hall volunteers as chair of the board of directors for the nonprofit Out for Undergrad, an organization dedicated to advising exceptional LGBT undergraduate students in their careers. He also volunteers on the advisory board of Out on the Street, a nonprofit that connects LGBT financial executives to discuss innovations in business.

Hall said, “The Edward C. Smith Sr. Family Carolina Scholarship provided me with the resources to dive deeply into my passions while at UNC and build relevant experience that led to my internship. It connected me to the University in a meaningful way and encouraged me to give back to UNC.”

The Edward C. Smith Sr. Family Carolina Scholarship

Edward C. (Eddie) Smith Sr. (credit: Annual Report, 2006-07, Davidson County Community College)
Edward C. (Eddie) Smith Sr.  Image from the 2006-07 Davidson County Community College Annual Report.

Eddie C. Smith Sr. of Lexington, N.C, established the Edward C. Smith Sr. Family Carolina Scholarship in 1993 as a part of the then-new Carolina Scholars program, the University’s premier merit-based scholarship program designed to attract the most promising high school students from across the state and country. To date, more than 35 Edward C. Smith Sr. Family Carolina Scholarships have been awarded to outstanding North Carolina students.

During his childhood, Smith lived at the Junior Order Orphanage, now called the American Children’s Home, in Lexington, where he milked cows and dug up sweet potatoes on the farm. After leaving the home when he turned 17, Smith worked as a taxi driver, a theater usher and eventually started the National Wholesale Company, a mail-order company for women’s apparel.

The values instilled in Smith during his time at the American Children’s Home inspired him to become a champion for many different causes throughout his lifetime. One of Lexington’s most beloved citizens, he was mayor in the 1970s, and served chair of many boards, including Lexington Memorial Hospital and Davidson County Community College.

While Smith never attended college, his children and grandchildren attended Carolina and he was a dedicated Tar Heel fan. His family provided funding for the Eddie Smith Field House at UNC, which was named in his honor in 2003. He died on July 18, 2007.

By Sarah Upton