New Smith-Cooper scholarship emphasizes more than academic achievement – OBX Today

New Smith-Cooper scholarship emphasizes more than academic achievement - OBX Today
Susan Smith, photo by OBCF

The Outer Banks Community Foundation announced the creation of the Smith-Cooper Scholarship, a new four-year scholarship for Dare County students. Susan Smith of Kitty Hawk created the fund as a way to honor her late husband, Fred Smith’s legacy, and his belief that a strong work ethic and a college education are key ingredients for success.

Susan Smith created the Smith-Cooper Scholarship to give students with a strong work ethic the opportunity to experience college. The scholarship awards academic achievement, but an important feature of the scholarship is that the student must also have a job outside of school.

“Going to college just opens up so much for young people,” said Susan. “It is that college experience, the opportunity to meet new people, to encounter new ideas, and to have thoughts and beliefs challenged, that contributes to becoming a well-rounded person.”

Fred Smith grew up in Trenton, New Jersey, and no one in his immediate family had ever gone to college.  At 12 years old, Fred started delivering papers for the Trenton Times, and he delivered papers all the way through high school.

Fred graduated from Cornell University, and went on to study at Columbia University where he earned his MBA.  His career began at Prudential and for most of his professional life, the Smiths lived in Atlanta, GA, with Fred working in finance and Susan as a career educator.

“Fred always said that holding a job at an early age was important for developing management skills and people skills,” Susan said. “We’re looking for someone who is well-rounded, has a good work ethic, and is serious about academics,” Susan said.

The full Outer Banks Community Foundation story about the Smith-Cooper Scholarship Fund can be found at

For further information about the Outer Banks Community Foundation and its scholarship program, please visit