Honorary Degrees

Eddie Smith Jr. at a table.

Eddie Smith Jr ’65

Eddie Smith Jr., is chairman and CEO of Grady-White Boats, Inc., the world’s premier builder of outboard powered sport fishing boats ranging from 18 – 45 feet, based in Greenville, North Carolina. The company manufactures 27 boat models which are distributed both nationally and internationally through independently owned Grady-White dealerships.

Mr. Smith has been at the helm of Grady-White for 50 years, leading the sport fishing boat builder to top industry status while maintaining aggressive research and development and product quality standards, as well as a debt-free financial statement. Grady-White operates from a state-of-the-art 430,000 sq. ft. facility.

Mr. Smith is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is a past member of the Executive Committee of the UNC Educational Foundation; past member of the UNC Board of Visitors; and past member of the UNC board of Trustees. His numerous industry and charitable affiliations include past member of the Board of Directors of the Rebel Chapter of the Young President’s Organization; and of the American Boat & Yacht Council, Inc.; and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the National Marine Manufacturers Association; the Sport Fishing Institute; and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation in Washington, D.C. He is also a past member of the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, past member of the Board of Trustees of the International Game Fish Association; and The Recreation Roundtable. World Presidents’ Organization; and the Chief Executives Organization. Mr. Smith is past area Chairman of Ducks Unlimited of Pitt County; past member of the Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority; a member of St. James United Methodist Church; and a member of the Greenville Rotary Club.

He married the former Jo Allison Clary of Winston-Salem; the couple resided in Greenville and had one son, Chris.