Larry and Elaine Smith, longtime supporters of Lynn athletics, have stepped forward once again to champion a Fighting Knights cause.
The Smiths’ most recent gift furnishes five locker rooms—two in the gym and three in the new Bobby Campbell Stadium—that create an inviting space and motivating atmosphere for student athletes, while providing gathering areas for collaboration and rejuvenation.
“Larry and Elaine’s generosity enables our students to bond in a comfortable locker room space,” said Athletic Director Devin Crosby. “Relationships are a vital attribute in successful teams, and Larry and Elaine’s gift enables our students to strengthen their time with each other in their locker rooms.”
The Smiths also named the Larry and Elaine Smith Women’s Home Locker Room in the Bobby Campbell Stadium.
Larry Smith was raised in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where he spent most of his time playing sports and working summers at Fenway Park as a vendor. “I love sports. I knew a lot of the professors at Lynn so we started to go to a lot of sporting events on campus,” he said.
As president of the Blue & White Club, 2004–2006, Larry led the club in supporting Lynn’s student athletes academically and in the community. Funds raised through donations to the club are earmarked for scholarships, excellence programs and team equipment needs. “I still go to all the meetings,” Larry said.
The Smiths are also the lead sponsors for Lynn’s Tennis Collegiate/AM, an annual fundraising event that pits collegiate players against members of the local community in a friendly challenge.
“Lynn student athletes and our tennis program have been privileged to have Larry and Elaine as donors and friends,” said Michael Perez, head coach of men’s and women’s tennis. “Their presence at so many of our contests and events shows their commitment, and we are deeply appreciative of their generosity.”
It’s not only athletics that Larry likes about Lynn. “I love the cafeteria. It’s one of my favorite places. I eat there with the students at least once a week. The people on campus are great … kind, nice. They do good things, and I enjoy working with them. Whenever they need anything, I try to give it to them.”
Larry Smith received his B.A. and B.S. degrees from Suffolk University, where he attended on a basketball scholarship. After graduation, he entered the Massachusetts National Guard and also went into the insurance business with his brother. In 1978, they relocated to Florida and continued their partnership as co-founders of the Nation Safe Drivers Group in Boca Raton. After 52 years in the business, the brothers sold the company to their 145 employees.
Larry and Elaine Smith have been married for 45 years and currently reside in Boca Raton. They have three children and seven grandchildren.