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Paul Reed Smith, the founder and managing general partner of PRS Guitars, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Maryland’s Washington College.

Washington College president Sheila Bair presented the degree to Smith on April 13 in recognition of his work as an innovative and creative thinker.

The degree recognized his work for both PRS Guitars and his new company Digital Harmonic, LLC.

“I am very appreciative to be recognized by the Department of Business Management at Washington College,” said Smith. “I hope it serves as inspiration to the students, that regardless of where you start, things are possible with determination, a plan and great work ethics.”

In the past, Smith has visited Washington College to teach master classes in music and perform with the Paul Reed Smith Band. He has also delivered his mentorship program at dozens of secondary schools and colleges, including Washington College.

“Paul is a remarkable example of entrepreneurial spirit; a kid builds a guitar in high school woodshop and ends up as managing partner and founder of the third largest guitar manufacturer in the US. Many would tell you that the company makes the best electric guitars that have ever been made,” said George Spilich, a professor of psychology and director of the Cromwell Center for Teaching and Learning at Washington College. “Now Paul is taking his expertise in signal processing and pivoting that knowledge into the creation of a signal processing company that has the promise of greatly improving medical imaging. If all that does not merit recognition in the business world, I don't know what does.”

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