The Richard Kneedler Distinguished Service Award was created to recognize annually one member of the professional staff who consistently goes above and beyond what would normally be expected, who has earned the respect of students and colleagues, and who has clearly demonstrated his or her commitment to the mission of the College. Nominations for this prestigious award were accepted from members of the campus community and reviewed by a committee of professional staff. This year’s award recipient is Theodore “Ted” W. Schmid II.
Manicured lawns, trimmed trees, well-kept walkways and vibrant landscaping impress visitors to Franklin & Marshall’s 202-acre red-brick campus, but this bucolic setting also is a reflection of the man behind the endless maintenance efforts.
Director of grounds and grounds manager for 20 of his 35 years at F&M, Schmid serves on the frontline of maintenance and operations with dedication, distinction and accomplishment. “The campus is a testament to the work he and each member of his team does,” says Mike Wetzel, associate vice president for facilities management and campus planning. “Ted does a fabulous job of getting the troops together.”
“Ted is a wonderful steward of the campus,” says Donna Pflum, director of alumni relations, who organizes key campus events including Alumni & Family Weekend and Homecoming. “When you call on him, he’s always there for you.”
As humble as he is cheerful, Schmid earned a degree in sociology and criminal justice at East Stroudsburg University, worked for Lancaster Probation and Parole, and then did landscaping before joining F&M. In his first 15 years on campus, he supervised the Special Work Assignment Team, which involved him in athletics, events and public safety.
“I’ve always based my decisions on having the best interest of the College in mind,” he said. “If I keep the best interest of the College in mind, then those decisions are appropriate.”
As director of grounds, Schmid immerses himself in his work, colleagues say. “One thing that has always impressed me about Ted is that he is always willing to be ‘in the trenches’ with his team,” said Nic Auwaerter ’11, F&M’s sustainability coordinator.
When not working in the trenches or shoveling snow or helping plan an event, Schmid is ensuring an athletic field or facility is maintained and ready. His many accomplishments include caring for the grounds by following the best practices in sustainability. He introduced single-stream recycling to the campus and was instrumental in implementing the composting of campus food waste for gardens and athletic fields. A Campus Tree Advisory Committee member, he helped the College achieve Tree Campus USA status from the Arbor Day Foundation for the last four years.
Theodore W. Schmid II, your extraordinary leadership, enthusiasm and exceptional service continue to strengthen the Franklin & Marshall community. The College’s students, faculty and staff thank you for your unflagging dedication and spirit.
Director of Grounds and Grounds Manager Theodore “Ted” W. Schmid II