The building was named for Charles E. Smith, who was a university trustee and Chairman of the Committee on University Development at the time.
A $43 million update and expansion of the Smith Center began in February 2008, due in part to a $10 million gift from the family of Charles E. Smith. Renovations were finished before the start of the 2010-2011 Basketball season. Improvements include:
New team locker rooms
A new seating chart for students and Athletic Director's Club members