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Schmitt Scholars Program

The Schmitt Scholars Program promotes the development of promising Saint Xavier University student leaders, helping participants advance their leadership efforts at SXU and preparing them to make a broader impact on the world after graduation. Schmitt Scholars receive a merit-based scholarship and participate in a program of activities that provide them with opportunities to reflect on and develop their leadership potential.

The program is supported by the Arthur J. Schmitt Foundation, which dedicates its resources to fashioning a better and more humane world. Arthur J. Schmitt was a successful entrepreneur, engineer and inventor who was committed to the education of educated, ethical and spiritually reflective leaders. His legacy has supported generations of Schmitt Scholars at selected colleges and universities throughout the Midwest.

In the spring semester of every academic year, faculty and staff are invited to nominate freshmen and sophomores for the program who demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and strong academic performance. For additional information on the Schmitt Scholars Program, please contact Erin Mueller, executive director of Corporate, Government and Foundation Relations, at emuellerFREESXU.

Schmitt Scholars FAQs

Our criteria for selecting Schmitt Scholars focuses on students' leadership potential and academic achievement. Applicants are required to demonstrate a record of academic excellence with a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or better; active involvement in student organizations, extracurricular academic projects and other University-sponsored and community-based programs; and evidence of the ability to assume a leadership role on campus and beyond. Students invited to apply for the program must be full-time undergraduate, degree-seeking students with sophomore, junior or senior standing. Students in any major are eligible for the program.

Prospective Schmitt Scholars who are nominated by faculty and staff are then invited to submit an application. The application describes the leadership requirements of the program and involves writing short essays based on carefully chosen prompts. The applications are reviewed by a selection committee comprised of faculty and staff.

The Schmitt Scholars Program is designed to advance and assess students' leadership skills, promote the development of values-based leadership inspired by the mission of Saint Xavier University and the heritage of the Sisters of Mercy, foster career development, facilitate service on campus and in the community, and motivate students to make an impact on the broader world after graduation by preparing them for future leadership roles in their professions and communities.

The program consists of seven components:

  1. A new Schmitt Orientation Program.
  2. Scholars are invited to attend all current leadership training programs (which together are referred to as CLIMB: Cougar Leaders Inspire, Motivate and Build) for officers of the registered student organizations on campus. Topics include event planning and marketing, conflict resolution, time management, self-assessment, marketing your leadership experiences and team-building.
  3. Scholars will participate in the Leadership Development Program, which will be one full day of activities scheduled in January of each year focused on the synergy of building and using shared interests and relationships.
  4. Schmitt scholars will serve as hosts for career events coordinated by the Center for SUCCESS. Each scholar will host one event, which can include Cougars Connect (an alumni networking event held in the fall), Internship and Job Fair (held in both the fall and spring) and the Graduate and Professional School Fair (held in the fall).
  5. Scholars will attend various workshops as part of the Schmitt Scholars and Leaders Workshop Series. These workshops will be especially designed for the unique needs of Schmitt scholar-leaders. These workshops will be held twice a semester. Workshop topics may include preparing for today's workplace, leadership and pre-professional experiences, planning for graduate school, leadership in the Mercy tradition, leading with integrity and other topics identified by the Schmitt scholar-leaders.
  6. Scholars will complete community service-learning projects, which will be identified, designed, implemented and evaluated by groups of Schmitt scholar-leaders.
  7. Each spring SXU will hold the Schmitt Scholars Symposium and Legacy Reception. The current class of Schmitt scholar-leaders will present their community service-learning projects at this reception, and alumni of the program will offer personal and professional updates.