Remembering Patrick Smith '97 '01

May. 30, 2019


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of beloved UNLV alumnus and friend Patrick Smith.

Originally from Waunakee, Wisconsin, Patrick became a Rebel when he graduated from UNLV in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. While building his career in the public affairs sector, he successfully completed a master’s of public administration from UNLV in 2001.

Patrick built his career as a trusted government and community affairs consultant where he served as a close advisor to elected officials and business leaders throughout Nevada. He was considered an expert in the areas of campaigns, special events, land use and regulatory affairs, legislative lobbying, and advocacy. In 2007, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman appointed him as a commissioner on the Housing Authority Board of the City of Las Vegas. Patrick was named a “Top 40 under 40” in 2007 by InBusiness Las Vegas.

Patrick was elected to the UNLV Alumni Association board of directors in 2011 and served as Third Vice President and Second Vice President before his election as President in 2016, also serving as ex-officio on the Foundation Board of Trustees. Currently, Patrick was in his final year as Immediate Past President. Throughout his eight years on the board, he chaired several important association committees including advocacy, board development, events committee, and the Rebel Business Network. While on the association board, his top goals were to increase the voice of alumni outside of the university, grow the transparency of alumni programs, and to build an active and engaged volunteer base.

Throughout his career, Patrick served on the boards of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth and the Nevada Economic Development Coalition which was successful in passing fuel tax indexing legislation in Carson City and Clark County in 2013. That same year he was appointed to the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority. Last year, Patrick began serving as an Advisory Board Member for Special Olympics Nevada and a Board Member for Olive Crest – Strong Families, Safe Kids.

Patrick and his wife, Donna, are foster and adoptive parents. He served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children. He is survived by his wife Donna and two children and two foster children.

Patrick died at home on May 28, 2019 of natural causes. Services will be held 1 p.m. on June 21 at the Our Lady of Las Vegas church, 3036 Alta Drive.