Schmiedings named Foundation’s Philanthropic Family of the Year

Courtesy photo: Celebrating the Schmieding family honor as Philanthropic Family of the Year include, back row from left: Steve Szymanski, Teresa Szymanski, Israel Vidales, Greg Schmieding, Janet Schmieding, Jared Graha and Becky Schmieding; and front row: Kaelyn Szymanski, Trudy Schmieding and Jackie Graha.

BROOKINGS – The Orv and Trudy Schmieding family of Brookings has been named the South Dakota State University Foundation’s 2022 Philanthropic Family of the Year.

Created in 2012, the award acknowledges exceptional generosity to diverse causes by a family that serves as an inspiration to others to support SDSU. 

With a people-centered legacy at State, the Schmieding family embodies the criteria surrounding the recognition, the Foundation said in announcing the award. The award was presented April 28 before a crowd of nearly 700 people at the Celebration of Philanthropy in Frost Arena.

Together, Orv and Trudy Schmieding made an impact and built meaningful careers at SDSU. Orv was a leader in counseling until his death in 1982 at age 59. He helped lay the groundwork for what would become the largest counselor training program in the state.

A nurse, Trudy trailblazed a role as coordinator of human sexuality resources for two decades on campus. In the 1970s, her role involved guiding student groups as they dealt with social, psychological, emotional and physical aspects of development. Colleagues talked of her calm, cool and composed demeanor when dealing with students on deeply personal issues.

“Orv and Trudy met people at challenging moments in their lives,” President Barry Dunn said in announcing the award. “They helped, motivated and inspired people – and ultimately made them grateful for how this university cared for them and allowed them to grow.”

Orv and Trudy’s passion for both SDSU and helping others carried on to all three of their children: Greg, Becky and Teresa. Each graduated from SDSU, with degrees in geography, engineering and counseling, respectively.

For 36 years running, one or more members of the Schmieding family have donated to the SDSU Foundation. Combined, the family has made gifts and commitments of nearly $1.8 million. The Schmieding family’s scholarship offerings impact SDSU Athletics, as well as four different academic colleges within the university. One of their latest gifts helped to pilot the new Wellbeing Center, with space that will be named in honor of Orv.

At the close, Dunn shared an excerpt of a note that an SDSU graduate and a former student of Orv Schmieding sent to Trudy after learning of Orv’s passing. 

“Sometimes, you wonder if our lives make a difference,” the graduate wrote. “I want you to know that (Orv’s) life made a difference for me, and that his values will live on in my life. Hopefully, the chain will continue through my impact on others.”

The Schmieding family is the 12th family honored as SDSU’s Philanthropic Family of the Year. Past honorees include the Les and Wanda Roberts family of Ashton; the Bob and Pat Fishback and Van and Barb Fishback families of Brookings; the Larry and Diane Ness family of Yankton; the Gene and JoAnn Goodale family of Brookings; the Duane Harms and Barbara Reed Harms family of Brookings; the Keith Rounds and Cathy Vander Wal-Rounds family of Brookings; and the Al and Irene Kurtenbach family of Brookings.


Video News
More In Homepage