February 12, 2003 News & Features » Cover Story


Greg Smith 

Greg Smith for his nearing graduation.

A precocious kiss goes to boy genius Greg Smith, class of 2003. Smith graduates this year from Randolph-Macon College. It's about time -- he's 13.

And apparently there's no stopping the lad who, at age 10, bounced the hallways of the small liberal arts college as if he were born to breeze through early. Randolph-Macon did its part by offering him a full scholarship, entry to honors classes and his own office. He was a sensation when he started, telling everyone from Oprah to Letterman about his dream of earning three Ph.D.s -- in biomedical research, aeronautical engineering and political science -- all by the time he's 27. With his well-rounded education he declared he might cure disease, design space stations and help bring about world peace. Oh, and become president.

Smith is no less ambitious today as a college senior, though students say he's become a natural, less-phenomenal presence on campus. And so what if his mother, or a campus security officer, sometimes accompany him on a walk to class? Soon he'll meet the real world, a world where ingenuity, if not age, is more conspicuous.

Smith has confessed that Plato is his favorite philosopher. He's inspired by the poetry of Wordsworth, the music of Mozart and the nonviolent tenacity of Gandhi, King and Christ. "I believe I have been given a special gift from God and I don't know why," he told Style in May 2000 The kid's got brains and seems to possess a sensibility beyond his years. It's hard to imagine the places he couldn't go.

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