The Smathers Award is named for a soldier and alumnus: decorated Army reservist and lawyer Capt. John Smathers, who died of heart failure on Feb. 4, 2006. The award is given annually at the CUA Golf Classic to a current or former CUA student athlete who has distinguished himself or herself in service to community, university, profession or country.
Capt. John Smathers (B.A. 1980, J.D. 1984) epitomized the ideal of service to country, according to his former CUA classmates. During his military career, he earned four Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, an Army Medal of Commendation, and six Army Reserve Components Achievement Medals. After his unit came under heavy fire during his final mission in Iraq in 2004, Smathers suffered multiple injuries requiring emergency surgery.
Capt. Smathers’ warm heart, quick wit and commitment to his country haven’t been forgotten by those who knew him. “When he was your friend, you had no greater friend,” his law partner and former CUA classmate Michael McGowan has told the media. “He’d do anything for you.
Pictured at right: Brian Wickes, Carmella Smathers (the mother of Capt. Smathers), Col. Mulholland and Michael McGowan, along with Athletic Director Mike Allen.
2018: Fred Favo '55
2017: Franny Murray '50
2015: Joe Fisher '75
2014: David Conover '72, '79
2013: Bob Talbot '59
2012: Nick Olivero '09
2011: Connie Hanlon '89
2010: Bill Wilson '69
2009: Sean Mulholland '82 (inaugural year)