Clara Bell Smith Center
In 1997, Steve Smith, a former MSU basketball All-American, and member of the 2003 NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs, donated $2.5 million towards the construction of The Clara Bell Smith Student Athlete Academic Center. This donation, in memory of his mother, Clara Bell Smith, is the largest gift to ever be given by a professional athlete to any college or university. This donation helped fund the construction of a comprehensive study center for student-athletes.
The two-story, 31,000 square foot Smith Center serves over 700 student-athletes in all of MSU's Division I sports. It also houses a 210-seat auditorium, a "hall of fame" gallery, two study halls, 60 computers split between two computer labs, structured study areas, a student lounge, a conference room, four classrooms, tutoring rooms, a director's office, academic advisor offices and a reception area.
The SASS staff, knowledgeable about NCAA and Big Ten regulations, consists of seven academic coordinators and one learning specialist. These staff members work proactively building academic profiles on each student-athlete to help uphold their rigorous academic and athletic schedules. They do this by assessing individual needs, gathering daily information on academic progress, providing academic assistance through a broad tutorial program, and assisting the development of learning strategies. Freshmen, transfer student-athletes, and those with learning disabilities receive extra attention while adjusting to their new routines in college.
This nationally-recognized facility offers a wide range of services including; academic counseling, computer labs with instruction, tutoring in all subject areas, career planning, community service opportunities, personal development workshops, assisting in monitoring athletic eligibility, providing priority registration, and making sure that athletes are advised about current NCAA, Big Ten and University rules and regulations. College is not easy, but with hard work and dedication from both the student-athlete and the support staff, the student-athlete can have a successful college experience.