Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Award Recipients
Young Alumnus of the Year Award
WILLIAM J. SCHMITT, ARTS '01
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Afghanistan. Darfur. Haiti. Nicaragua. West Sumatra.
Hardly ports of call for most of us, but these are the places that call for Bill Schmitt’s tireless service with Catholic Relief Services. Based in the Dominican Republic, he administers aid throughout Latin America and the Caribbean when natural or man-made disasters call.
Bill triple-majored in international affairs, political science and Spanish at Marquette, then completed a master’s in international public affairs. He has completed five CRS overseas postings and, most recently, spent considerable time helping Haitians affected by the January 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak.
Bill — who was an international program associate for the Chartwell Education Group in Washington, D.C., a part-time project consultant for the U.S. Jesuit Conference, and a teacher in Ecuador and at Marquette University High School before CRS — says Marquette helped shape him. He was a Burke Scholar and spent much of his time on campus doing community service. He recalls being challenged “to use my head and my heart to work hard for others.”
Bill indeed works hard for others — and in hard-to-work places — adhering to his belief in the need “to step out of your comfort zone and challenge your preconceptions.”
Bill hopes to one day unpack his suitcase and work on behalf of others in the United States, either in politics or as a teacher and basketball coach.
Yes, basketball! As the world calls Bill to serve, it’s nice to know that keeping up with Marquette hoops as best as he can while overseas serves up a slice of home.
Fun fact: Bill has two favorite books: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Catch 22.