#PrepareAtPeace | Robert Smith ’17, SPS

Jan 1, 1970

Knowing What YOU Want isn’t a Crime

By Valeska Redmond, Ph.D., Director of Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives

Robert Smith ’17, B.S. Criminal Justice

Robert Smith work attire is a little different than most people’s. He wears a bulletproof vest underneath a clean blue collared shirt, a pair of gray wool trousers, and a heavy duty belt that holds two pair of handcuffs, one large can of pepper spray, a radio, a glove pouch, and a baton. His M&P .45 is safely secured in his carry holster and the two attached magazine pouches keep the supply coming in cases of emergencies.

Having served as an infantry scout in the military for 14 years, Smith has always seen himself as a servant of the community and one who can protect others and bring justice. His military deployments range from chiefly distressed countries like Bosnia, Kosovo, and Iraq to Kenya, Djibouti, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ready to retire from the military, but committed to continue risking his life for others, Smith moved from upstate New York to Raleigh, North Carolina, with a well-thought plan in hand: He would finish his education and become a police officer with the Raleigh Police Department.

With financial support from the GI bill, Smith enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at William Peace University and mastered his classes without any difficulties. The husband and father of four recalls how much he enjoyed the small class sizes and “that everyone was on a first name basis and professors actually knew who I was,” Smith said. “What I liked most about the Criminal Justice program is the way that it is structured. It’s an in-depth program that touches profoundly on legal issues and provides theoretical and applied knowledge of the field.”

Smith credits his internship with the Raleigh Police Department as well as the Criminal Justice program at William Peace University for his achievements in the BELT (Basic Law Enforcement Training) Academy, which is a mandatory program required for entry-level employment as a law enforcement officer. “The high level of education that I received in the Criminal Justice program was quintessential in doing well and passing all classes during my 7-month BLET training. I am truly grateful for my experiences at Peace,” Smith said.

Since August of 2018, the 35-year old Texan can be addressed officially as Officer Smith and found patrolling the streets of Raleigh, where he is making an impact on the community and serving as a positive pillar of influence for young people. “Honesty and integrity is everything. Own your mistakes and protect your reputation,” is Smith’s advice to young people. While he enjoys being a police officer, Smith also plans to explore other opportunities with the Raleigh Police Department and has his eyes on the drugs and vice unit. For now, however, Smith will continue to fulfill his duty to protect and serve the people of Raleigh.

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 

 

Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.

Visitors

Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.

Counselors

Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.

Alumni

Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.

Donate

Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.

Parents

Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Commencement
Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students

Readmission

If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 

Veteran/Military

Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.

About

WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting

History

Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.

Leadership

William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU

Athletics

Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.

Academics

WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 

Admissions

Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.