Christian G. "Dutch" Schmidt, 34BS, a native of Dysart, earned nine letters in four varsity sports-football, baseball, basketball, and track-as one of the greatest athletes in Hawkeye history.
Upon arriving on campus in 1929, Schmidt demonstrated a special drive and determination to succeed that was visible from the start. He joined Delta Upsilon and eventually became the fraternity's president. Active in several campus and academic societies, Schmidt also served as president of the Lettermen's Club his senior year and was awarded the University Athletic Scholarship trophy for his academic and athletic prowess at the university.
Schmidt's service to the UI began when his professional baseball career with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association was ended prematurely by a shoulder injury shortly after graduation. Abandoning his dream of a career in major league baseball, he returned full-time to the university to coach freshman baseball and football and pursue graduate studies in commerce and law.
In 1940, he went to work for the American Hospital Supply Corporation of Evanston, Illinois, rising over the next 36 years from sales representative, to sales manager of the scientific products division, to president of that division, and eventually to the post of executive vice president and chief operation officer/chairman of the executive committee.
In 1976, Schmidt received the highest honor of the Scientific Apparatus Makers Association "in recognition of his achievement in developing the industry's capacity for serving the nation in the fields of industry, research, education, health and defense." Through the years, he has complemented his corporate leadership with service in numerous civic and professional areas. He has been a director on the boards of more than a dozen firms in his industry, as well as for Kemper Financial Services, and he was regional chairman of Radio Free Europe in the Chicago area from 1970-74.
In honor of Schmidt's service to the industry, the American Hospital Supply Corporation established the Christian G. "Dutch" Schmidt Scholarship Fund for UI undergraduates in 1976. The award was also a reminder that through the years Schmidt was instrumental in recruiting scores of UI graduates for positions in the company.
Schmidt's unwavering support of the University of Iowa places him among the university's most consistently loyal and generous alumni. A national committee member for the Iowa Endowment 2000 campaign, he has been a proven leader in raising funds in a variety of areas, including the College of Business Administration, the Museum of Art, athletics, and the Museum of Natural History. Many of Schmidt's own gifts have been unrestricted, enabling the university to use the funds for its areas of greatest need. In 1994, the College of Business Administration named a 65-seat classroom in the Pappajohn Business Administrations Building for him in recognition of his commitment to the college.
Schmidt became the 2,000th member of the UI foundation's Presidents Club in 1983. In the 14 years since that milestone, he has continued to demonstrate an outstanding and faithful commitment to the UI and its colleges and programs.