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Seattle University


Remembering Sue Schmitt

Written by Paula Hermann, College of Education
October 1, 2012

UPDATE (Oct. 2, 10:32 a.m.):  A public memorial service will be held for Sue Schmitt at 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 8, at Immaculate Conception Church (18th and E. Marion). President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., will preside. 

UPDATE (Oct. 1, 3:51 p.m.):  The Dr. Sue A. Schmitt Scholarship Fund has been established to honor her memory and the legacy she has left at Seattle University. The fund will support the academic advancement of underrepresented students enrolled in the College of Education, a commitment that Schmitt championed during the course of her career. Please contact Seattle University at 296-1896 if you are interested in contributing to this fund.

From the College of Education website (Sept.29): 

Sue Schmitt, Ed.D., professor and former dean of the College of Education, died suddenly at the age of 66 on Sept. 28. Additional information on a celebration of Dr. Schmitt's life will be announced very soon.
Dr. Schmitt stepped down from her 16-year position as dean on July 31, 2012, and spent the past two months traveling and enjoying time with her family. In her announcement to the faculty and staff on June 26, Dr. Schmitt emphasized her joy in overseeing many historical events over the past 16 years and was excited about the college's position to engage in new opportunities at the university, state and national levels.

Dr. Schmitt touched many lives during her remarkable career as an administrator, educator and scholar. She helped to organize the college's 75th anniversary celebration (a milestone event that drew over 1,000 alumni and friends to campus), and oversaw Conversation Education, a symposium on education policy that brought great visibility to the university. Over the past several years she led a collaborative and successful process to revise and restructure the college's doctoral program. Additionally, Dr. Schmitt spearheaded an effort that will bring a Seattle Public Schools Middle College program to the university in the next few months.

Prior to her appointment as dean of the College of Education, she had served as dean and professor, in the College for Human Resources at the University of North Dakota, where she had also served as associate vice president for academic affairs, responsible for the design and implementation of the Center for Instructional Technology. She served at the University of Wisconsin, Stout, as deputy vice chancellor and professor of rehabilitation, department chair, and director of the independent Living Center. Dr. Schmitt also served as the administrative associate to the vice president for academic affairs of the University of Wisconsin System Administration.

Dr. Schmitt received the outstanding alumni award from Viterbo College, where she received a B.A. in English, and she was a Leadership Fellow at Mississippi State University. She was among a selective group of educational leaders to participate in Harvard University's IEM Program. Dr. Schmitt's doctorate, which she received from Mississippi State University, was funded through a Bush Leadership Fellowship.