UCR alumnus & retiree Jim Smith has been a familiar face on campus for over 40 years. He recently wrote an article telling his story and sharing his experience at UCR on UCR Today. It’s an inspiring article covering his time as an undergrad to his position as associate director of Student Housing.
I feel fortunate to have been a part of a developing UC campus. UCR was good to me, and I hope in some small way I contributed to its mission as well. I still feel rewarded when someone reminds me that I interviewed them for the job they have or had, or when an alumnus thanks me again, from so many years ago, for arranging an extended payment plan which allowed them to remain in school and graduate.
There is no doubt I have had a lot of luck along my journey. I have not been plagued with recurring health problems so many quadriplegics suffer from. I have had a supportive family, a dependable wheelchair and care providers (most of the time), and an opportunity to acquire an education and employment.
My trek began nearly a half-century ago when a doctor’s few words of advice pointed me in the direction I would ultimately follow. I am grateful to so many people, without whose help my future would not have been possible, and to UCR for my education and career. The future I had feared so much so long ago, despite the hardships that came with it, would culminate in a future I believe was not only worthwhile, but rewarding and enjoyable as well. – Jim Smith from UCR Today