William S. Schmidt papers
William S. Schmidt was superintendent of Prince George's County Public Schools from 1951 through 1970. His personal and professional activities are documented through awards, clippings, correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, publications, research material, audio recordings, speeches, and an interview transcript. Correspondents include Spiro T. Agnew, Lawrence J. Hogan, Marvin Mandel, and Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. Mandel and Wilson H. Elkins are pictured in photographs. The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence Dr. Schmidt received from superintendents, principals, teachers, and politicians regarding his retirement and honorary doctorate.
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This collection is open for research.
William S. Schmidt papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
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This collection is PROCESSED.
William S. Schmidt was born in Frederick, Maryland, on May 8, 1908, to Jacob H. and Cora M. Schmidt. He graduated from Frederick High School in 1925 and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 1929. After graduation, Dr. Schmidt began his professional career at Manor Junior High School in Manor, Pennsylvania, as a social studies teacher from 1929 to 1933 and principal from 1933 to 1944. He earned a Master's degree at Columbia University's Teacher's College in New York in 1936. Dr. Schmidt married Lois Mary Sloan in 1934; they had one son, William Earl, born in 1939.
In 1944, Dr. Schmidt accepted a position as principal of Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Two years later, he became director of instruction for Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS). He served as assistant superintendent of PGCPS from 1948 until January 1951, when he was appointed superintendent. Dr. Schmidt worked as superintendent of schools until his retirement in 1970.
Throughout his life, Dr. Schmidt was actively involved in numerous professional and civic organizations. He was a lifetime member of the National Education Association, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers, and the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers. Additional professional affiliations included the American Association of School Administrators; the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development; the Federal Schoolmen's Club of Washington, D.C.; the Maryland Association of Public School Superintendents; the National Association of Secondary School Principals; and the Washington Area School Study Council.
Schmidt was also involved with the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, the Heart Association of Southern Maryland, the Prince George's County Scholarship Fund, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), and many other community organizations. He was a member of the College Park Rotary Club and served as an Elder at Grace Reformed Church in Washington for three terms and was president of the congregation on two different occasions.
He received numerous honors and awards including College Park Rotary Club Rotarian of the Year (1960); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Award of Merit (1963); Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree, University of Maryland (1969); Distinguished Service Award in School Administration, American Association of School Administrators (1971); Dedication of the William S. Schmidt Outdoor Education Center in Brandywine, Maryland, by the Prince George's County Board of Education (1972); Boy Scouts of America Scouter of the Year Award (1973); Distinguished Citizen Award, "M" Club University of Maryland (1976); and Distinguished Pennsylvania Educator Citation, All Pennsylvania College Alumni Association (1979).
Dr. Schmidt's wife Lois died in 1974. In 1976, he married Elizabeth Griffith Beveridge, who had two daughters from a previous marriage, Susan Sohn and Lynn DeMeester. Dr. Schmidt and Elizabeth lived together in College Heights Estates, Hyattsville, Maryland, until his death on October 3, 1986.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Papers of William S. Schmidt span the years 1946 to 2003 with the majority of the material dating between 1969 and 1979. Schmidt's personal and professional activities are documented through awards, clippings, correspondence, memorabilia, photographs, publications, research material, audio recordings, speeches, and an interview transcript. Correspondents include Spiro T. Agnew, Lawrence J. Hogan, Marvin Mandel, and Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. Mandel and Wilson H. Elkins are pictured in photographs.
The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence Dr. Schmidt received from superintendents, principals, teachers, and politicians regarding his retirement and honorary doctorate.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
Elizabeth Schmidt and Lynn DeMeester donated the Papers of William S. Schmidt to the University of Maryland Libraries in October 2004.
Processed by Tammy Hamilton, December 2004
Materials were organized by format and arranged chronologically. Attachments were retained in place. Duplicates were discarded. Metal paper clips and staples were removed and replaced with plastic clips. Newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acid-free paper. The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-free boxes. All photographs have been placed in Mylar sleeves.
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsofr Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine, March 2005.
Arrangement of Collection
The collection has been divided into four series:
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Personal and Professional, 1946-2003 and undated (1 linear foot)
This series consists of awards, clippings, correspondence, programs, publications, research material, speeches, and an interview transcript. The bulk of this series is comprised of correspondence between Dr. Schmidt and area school superintendents, principals, teachers, and politicians regarding his retirement and honorary doctorate. Correspondents include Spiro T. Agnew, Lawrence J. Hogan, Marvin Mandel, and Charles McC. Mathias, Jr. Additional correspondence consists of letters and postcards Schmidt wrote to his wife and son while traveling to and within the Soviet Union in 1961.
Also included in this series are awards, clippings, programs, and publications documenting recognition Dr. Schmidt received from various organizations for his professional and civic activities. Speeches and quotations he often used in talks and presentations also comprise this series.
Arrangement is alphabetical by format. Within each folder material is arranged chronologically; all undated material appears at the end of the folder.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Awards (Includes Oversize), 1956, 1969, 1973||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|Biographical Material, 1962, 1972, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|Clippings, 1951-1953, 1969-1970, 1973, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1986||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|Clippings, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|Correspondence, 1951, 1960-1961, 1963-1966||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|Correspondence, 1969||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|Correspondence, 1970||series 1||box 1||folder 7|
|Correspondence, January-March 1971||series 1||box 1||folder 8|
|Correspondence, April-December 1971||series 1||box 1||folder 9|
|Correspondence, 1972, 1979-1985||series 1||box 2||folder 1|
|Correspondence, undated||series 1||box 2||folder 2|
|Invitations, 1972, 1976, 2001||series 1||box 2||folder 3|
|Manuscript -- "Some Impressions From My Recent Visit to the Soviet Union", 1961||series 1||box 2||folder 4|
|Memorandum -- [Resignation from Prince George's County Public Schools], 1969||series 1||box 2||folder 5|
|Press Releases, 1971, 1978||series 1||box 2||folder 6|
|Programs, 1969-1970, 1972-1973, 1979, 1982, 1991, 2001, 2003||series 1||box 2||folder 7|
|Publications -- The Clipper's Log, 1946||series 1||box 2||folder 8|
|Publications -- "Handbook for Parents" [Catherine T. Reed Elementary School], 1971||series 1||box 2||folder 9|
|Publications -- M Club: 24th Annual Banquet, 1974||series 1||box 2||folder 10|
|Publications -- Newsletters, 1969-1971||series 1||box 2||folder 11|
|Publications -- The People of Prince George's Community College, 1958-1978, Annual Report, 1978||series 1||box 2||folder 12|
|Publications -- "Prayer and Bible-Reading in America's Public Schools: Historical Background", n.d||series 1||box 2||folder 13|
|Research Material -- Quotations, undated||series 1||box 2||folder 14|
|Research Material -- Quotations -- [un-attributed], undated||series 1||box 2||folder 15|
|Research Material -- Quotations -- Gladly Learn and Gladly Teach, 1961||series 1||box 2||folder 16|
|Research Material -- Quotations -- "History: From Ages Past to Untraveled Realms", undated||series 1||box 2||folder 17|
|Speech -- "C. Elizabeth Rieg on the Day of the Dedication of the C. Elizabeth Rieg Center", 1979||series 1||box 2||folder 18|
|Speech -- "Education and the Promise of the Future", 1962||series 1||box 2||folder 19|
|Speech -- "Oxon Hill Graduation", 1973||series 1||box 2||folder 20|
|Speech -- "Thanksgiving, Rotary Club", 1974||series 1||box 2||folder 21|
|Speech -- "The Value Crisis, A Challenge to Every Citizen", 1973||series 1||box 2||folder 22|
|Speech -- "Who Will Write the History of Good", undated||series 1||box 2||folder 23|
|Transcript -- ["Prince George's Community College, Interview with Dr. William Schmidt"], 1984||series 1||box 2||folder 24|
Series 2: Audio Recordings, 1963, 1969 (2 items)
This series is comprised of audio reel-to-reel recordings of speeches given by Dr. Schmidt at Margaret Brent School, New Carrollton, Maryland, on two separate occasions.
Arrangement is chronological.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Speech -- ["Margaret Brent School Dedication"] 1 Mil. Polyester Recording Tape, 1963||series 2||box 1||folder 1|
|Speech -- ["Margaret Brent School Teacher Recognition Night"] 1 Mil. Polyester Recording Tape, 1969||series 2||box 1||folder 2|
Series 3: Photographs, 1951-2003 and undated (25 items)
This series consists of portraits, candid photographs, and photographs taken at various awards ceremonies. The bulk of this series is comprised of black and white photographs. Events include Dr. Schmidt receiving his honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland, a testimonial dinner given by the Business and Industry Adult Education Center, and a College Park Rotary Club award ceremony. Individual depicted include Wilson H. Elkins and Marvin Mandel. The photographs vary in size.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame||Item|
|Photographs, 1951-2003 and undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1|
|Portrait - William S. Schmidt with tie (7 1/2 x 9 1/2), 1951||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 1|
|Portrait - William S. Schmidt with bowtie (8 x 10), undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 2|
|William S. Schmidt with Boy Scout Kevin Colbert (4 x 5), 1960||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 3|
|William S. Schmidt with Russian school children (3 1/2 x 5), 1961||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 4|
|William S. Schmidt seated wearing blue suit (3 1/2 x 5), undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 5|
|William S. Schmidt shaking hands with unidentified man (3 1/2 x 4 1/2), undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 6|
|William S. Schmidt in suit (4 x 5), undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 7|
|William S. Schmidt shaking hands with unidentified woman (4 1/2 x 6 1/2), undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 8|
|Tables at banquet (8 x 10), undated||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 9|
|Presentation of American National Red Cross Membership Card to William S. Schmidt (8 x 10), 1977||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 10|
|William S. Schmidt receiving plaque from unidentified man on stage (8 x 10), 1978||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 11|
|William S. Schmidt shaking hands with unidentified man at Rotary Club meeting (8 x 10), 1978||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 12|
|William S. Schmidt and Elizabeth G. Schmidt with unidentified man, holding drinks (8 x 10), 1978||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 13|
|William S. Schmidt receiving honorary degree from University of Maryland (5 x 7), 1969||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 14|
|William S. Schmidt receiving honorary hood from University of Maryland (8 x 10), 1969||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 15|
|William S. Schmidt receiving honorary degree from University of Maryland, (black and white photograph) (8 x 10), 1969||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 16|
|William S. Schmidt testimonial dinner Adult Education Center, with Mrs. Schmidt, Marvin Mandel, and Fred Wineland (8 x 10), 1969||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 17|
|William S. Schmidt testimonial dinner Adult Education Center, presentation of plaque (8 x 10), 1969||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 18|
|William S. Schmidt testimonial dinner Adult Education Center, presentation of scholarship (8 x 10), 1969||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 19|
|William S. Schmidt at Rollingcrest Junior High School ( 8 x 10), 1971||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 20|
|William S. Schmidt with Wilson H. Elkins (5 x 7), 1978||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 21|
|William S. Schmidt with Wilson H. Elkins and Charles A. Rudy (5 x 7), 1978||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 22|
|William S. Schmidt with Charles A. Rudy (two photographs) (5 x 7 ), 1978||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 23|
|Altar flowers donated by Elizabeth G. Schmidt to Grace Reformed Church (3 1/2 x 5), 2003||series 3||box 1||folder 1||item 24|
Series 4: Memorabilia, 1954, 1970 and undated (7 items)
The memorabilia is comprised of a leather briefcase owned by Dr. Schmidt and gifts he received from various organizations in Maryland and Prince George's County. Gifts include complimentary athletic passes and written tributes. Included in this series is an eleven page "biographical" story with ink illustrations entitled "A Tribute to a Wise Chief." These items have been transferred to the Memorabilia Collection, Memorabilia numbers 1772-1778.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame||Item|
|Memorabilia, 1954, 1970 and undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1|
|Briefcase. Leather, burnt orange in color. Metal clasp. "William S. Schmidt" appears in gold lettering underneath clasp., undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1772|
|Complimentary Athletic Pass [Prince Georges County Athletic Program]. Metal, bronze in color. "William S. Schmidt" appears at bottom of plate., undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1773|
|Lifetime Athletic Pass [Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association]. Metal, gold in color. "Dr. William S. Schmidt" engraved into front of plate., undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1774|
|Resolution [Schoolmens Group of Maryland]. Four pages., 1970||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1775|
|A Tribute to Dr. William S. Schmidt on the occasion of the Dedication of Weldon Woods School." Lyrics and sheet music., 1970||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1776|
|A Tribute to a Wise Chief [Prince Georges County Council of Parent Teacher Associations]. Story with ink illustrations, 11 pages bound in cardboard., 1970||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1777|
|William S. Schmidt [Prince Georges County Teachers Association]. Framed; approximately 23 inches by 29 inches., 1954||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1778|
The Archives and Manuscript Department also holds the Papers of Ruth S. Wolf, member of the Prince George's County Board of Education from 1968 to 1973. Additional related collections include the Archives of the Berwyn Heights Elementary PTA and the Archives of the Prince George's County PTA.
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- Agnew, Spiro T., 1918-1996 -- Correspondence
- Elkins, Wilson H. -- Correspondence
- Hogan, Lawrence J. -- Correspondence
- Mandel, Marvin, 1920- -- Correspondence
- Mathias, Charles McC. (Charles McCurdy), 1922- -- Correspondence
- Prince George's County Public Schools -- History -- Sources
- Schmidt, William S., 1908-1986
- School superintendents -- Maryland -- Prince George's County -- Archives