Skip to main content
The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
Remembering Andy Smith

A True Maverick Spirit

In his life, Andy Smith exemplified what it means to be a Maverick. He enriched the campus community we affectionately call the Mavily and set a higher standard for the future of CMU.

Andy passed away yesterday, surrounded by his family. Upon hearing the news, I reflected on the time I spent with him throughout the last several years. Andy strengthened me as a person and inspired me in my service to you as CMU's president. I know many of you share in the sadness of Andy’s transition from this life to what lies beyond.

Andy was deeply revered by his professors, coaches and peers. He had a unique way of helping us maintain perspective, modeling how we ought to treat one another with kindness and empathy. Despite his own struggles, Andy took others' ruminations on their own day-to-day problems in stride, showing us that compassion outweighs comparison. Until his last moments, Andy focused on the community’s future, reflecting his selflessness. His belief was that a life’s value is not measured by its length but by its impact. Andy’s presence is a permanent fixture on our campus, and the Maverick Spirit he embodied will continue to live on through those he touched.

Upon Andy's return to CMU after his diagnosis, the campus was embarking on a strategic planning process called Forming the Future. Andy’s influence on this endeavor was profound. Those who were present during his remarks about our campus value of Resilience will recall the emotional power of that moment. I revisited Andy’s speech yesterday and encourage you all to do the same as we reflect on his contributions to shaping our future.

I also rewatched the Maverick Network video that shares Andy’s story, reminded of how it moved us during its premiere in the Meyer Ballroom. Its message is even more poignant now, in light of his passing.

In the coming days, we will mourn Andy's passing and celebrate his life. I will share opportunities for us to participate in this reflection and celebration, in accordance with his family’s wishes.

At CMU, one of our principal values is Love, defined as extending oneself for the growth of self and others. Andy Smith was the embodiment of this principle, living a life that uplifted and inspired all who knew him. His legacy is a testament to the power of love, resilience and the indomitable Maverick Spirit.


Written by John Marshall