Ronald Schmidt Memorial

President: 1993-1997

Born in Long Beach, California Dr. Ronald Schmidt spent his childhood in both the California beach town of Seal Beach and the Boise Valley area of Idaho. He was raised in a devout Christian family, and early in life made his own commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Educated in California, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he went on to work in the California State Community College system. During this time he earned a doctorate in higher education management. Subsequently, he accepted appointments to vice presidencies in two private Christian colleges in the Midwest. Feeling the desire for management experience outside of higher education, he served for six years as the executive president of the Young Life Foundation.

In 1992, he was selected to succeed Dr. David Beckman as president of CCU. He served first as executive vice president and then, following Dr. Beckman’s retirement in June 1993, as president of the University.

Dr. Schmidt was president of CCU during a period of growth and change. He contributed to further developing the campus. During his administration, the university experienced progress in many areas including enrollment, information technology, and athletic programs.

Following his tenure at CCU, Dr. Schmidt served as president of Crichton College in Memphis, Tennessee until his retirement due to health reasons in 2003. That summer he was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor. Following surgery, much medical treatment, and a valiant struggle against this very aggressive cancer, Dr. Schmidt went to be with the Lord on July 27, 2004.

He was married to Dr. Sylvia Schmidt, a university professor and professional musician, and was blessed with three daughters and four grandchildren.

Ron cared deeply for people. The thing I remember most fondly was his unbridled enthusiasm for anything he became involved in. As I look back, I see the many contributions that Ron made to CCU and I can’t help but think he was ordained as our president for that specific time in our institutional history.
– Dr. Gary Ewen, Dean of the School of Business and Leadership