Lied Library Group Study Room Named In Honor of UNLV Alumnus Brayden Smith

Brayden Smith Memorial Group Study Room

Brayden Smith spent many hours tucked away in a group study room on the fifth floor of Lied Library – studying for classes, mentoring friends, watching political and legal lectures, and preparing for his law school entrance exam.

Brayden Smith

Lied Library was also where Smith, a 2020 UNLV alumnus, prepared to fulfill one of his lifetime dreams, competing on the popular game show Jeopardy!, where he became a five-time champion. 

After Brayden passed away in 2021, his family wanted to honor his commitment to learning at the educational institutions that were such an important part of his life. His parents, Scott and Debbie Smith, and Brayden’s friends identified the library as a location where Brayden spent much of his time at UNLV. 

“After visiting campus, we knew that the Lied Library had to be the place. And with more than 1 million books, we knew that Brayden would approve,” said Debbie Smith. “This room is tucked away and unassuming, but has the capacity for so much, just like Brayden.”

Brayden, who often had a stack of borrowed library books, was a voracious reader, lover of knowledge, and an advocate of justice.

The Brayden Smith Group Study Room was dedicated on Tuesday, September 6, 2022  – Brayden’s 26th birthday. His parents, brothers Bryce, Brock, and Brody, as well as many extended family and friends attended the ceremony.

“It’s an honor to know that Brayden’s time in this library helped him complete his degree at UNLV and gave him a sanctuary to study as he prepared to be a contestant on Jeopardy,” said Maggie Farrell, dean of Libraries at UNLV. “We hope that this area that Brayden treasured – surrounded by so many books – will inspire future generations of UNLV students with his story and commitment to learning.”

Funding for the Brayden Smith Memorial Group Study Room was made possible by the many generous donors to the Brayden Smith Memorial Fund. The funds will be used for supporting students Flora & Stuart Mason Undergraduate Peer Research Coach program and to purchase resources for collections in the libraries.

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