Degree: B.S. in Business Administration with a Concentration in Marketing
Graduation Date: May 2017
High School/Hometown: Toms River High School East/Toms River, NJ
Clubs/Activities: Men’s Soccer Team (captain)
Georgian Court has much to offer to unique students and honor their individual backgrounds and paths. Business administration major and nontraditional student Craig Smith did not attend college immediately after high school. Instead, he joined the United States Marine Corps infantry. He completed two tours in Iraq, and after leaving the Corps, worked as a private security contractor for five years in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterward, he resolved to return home and continue his education at OCC.
He ultimately transferred to GCU from Ocean County College (OCC).
“My transfer process from OCC was rather easy because I knew I wanted to stay local in relation to Toms River,” says Craig. “The GCU admissions people were very helpful throughout the process of enrolling in classes as well as setting up the financial aid process.”
“My overall student career, at GCU, has been really great. GCU has helped me with my transition back to life in the States, and I feel I have become a more tolerant person since I’ve been here.”
Craig feels his military background helped prepare him for his academic career.
“It’s certainly helped me at GCU, because my life experiences helped with my time management skills as well as my adaptability to issues that may arise,” he says.
“Craig has the tremendous combination of theoretical background and real-world experience to be successful in his future,” says Timothy Briles, Ed.D., associate professor of education, special assistant to the president, and GCU’s NCAA faculty athletic representative.
Craig was also drawn to GCU for its “promising soccer program,” which began in 2013 when the university went fully coeducational. An accomplished athlete, he served as the captain of the men’s soccer team for both of the years he attended GCU.
“Craig has been a leader from day one,” says Dr. Briles. “On the soccer field or in the classroom, Craig has helped foster the type of environment that we want here at GCU.”
Craig’s college story may be different than that of other students, but it is a success story filled with victories—including captaining the men’s soccer team to its first-ever conference championship. It was a highlight for Craig, to say the least.
“Winning the CACC title with the soccer team this past fall has, by far, been the best day in my life up to this point,” says Craig.
Story contributed by Heidi V. Chaya ’17, who will graduate in December 2017 with a B.A. in English and a concentration in writing.