“Chris and Greg’s generosity is a bold bet on Bentley — one that I know will have a strong ROI for the university, our communities and the greater health care business landscape,” says Chrite. “With this incredible investment, Bentley has the backing to further the Health TLN’s impressive work, to create a robust and scalable platform that will be a force for innovation and impact with renowned health care organizations in Boston, and beyond.”
Growing up in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, the Smiths knew snow. But while other kids raced to sled after a storm, Chris and Greg grabbed their shovels and hit every driveway on the block. Entrepreneurship, and drive, are in their DNA.
“Try and fail. Try and fail. Try and fail,” says Greg. “Great ideas don’t always work, but with my Bentley degree as this foundation, I had these building blocks to keep trying until I was successful.”
Chris agrees and says his sons, Chase ’19, MBA ’20 and Trevor ’24 didn’t come to Bentley just because of Dad. “It was because we knew how well this school worked for me, and they would have that same foundation to start their lives.”
Giving back and creating a generational legacy means that much more, says Greg. “This is our way of making a transformative gift that we could be a part of, to help Bentley, our industry and anyone who is facing the challenges of the health care system.”
Compassion is a natural underpinning of their businesses and they have been focused on serving communities for over 25 years. Chris founded and served as CEO of multiple private equity real estate companies, he co-founded Maplewood Healthcare, and owned and operated more than 10 hotels. Maplewood Healthcare has evolved into a health care real estate platform and had a name change to Aspect Health in 2020. Greg moved from finance to real estate, and a particular property he acquired in 2004 ignited a passion that would come to serve countless families, including his own. He is the president and CEO of the Maplewood and Inspı¯r senior living brands.
As successful alumni, Chris says, they have a social responsibility to make a difference, no matter the amount. “What we’re doing isn’t just a monetary gift. It’s a commitment of our time and resources to help move this program over the goal line, to be a part of the fabric of the university. To step back, look at the next generation and think: How do I make an impact?
“It’s going to be fun, and a lot of work.”