First MBA grad created scholarship

Marketing and Communications

By Bridget Tharp

A new graduate scholarship created by the first BGSU student to earn an MBA will honor the man who is both creator of the program and former dean of the College of Business Administration: Dr. William "Bill" Schmeltz.

The Dean William F. Schmeltz Scholarship is now available to students pursuing a Master of Business Administration or Master of Accountancy degree.

Honoring Schmeltz was important to Dr. Charlie T. Andrews '63 of Longview Texas, because he credits the retired dean and accounting professor for helping to shape his career. When he first met Schmeltz, Andrews was juggling a full-time job as an accountant, raising a young family and attending evening courses part-time at BGSU. But after he was unexpectedly fired with no explanation, he turned to Schmeltz for advice.

What Schmeltz provided was more than wise words for Andrews. The business dean helped him reschedule classes in the daytime to complete his BGSU degree ahead of schedule, assembled a thesis committee on short notice, and offered his professional recommendation of Andrews for an available teaching job at a college in Illinois. The business dean had a personal contact at the other college who anticipated hiring someone Schmeltz might recommend to be an accounting faculty member. And to top it all off, Andrews became the first to earn an MBA from BGSU.

When Andrews went on to earn his doctorate in business administration, Schmeltz came through again by recommending him for the assistantship he received at Indiana University. Andrews retired in 1994 after a long career teaching at the University of Missouri, University of Iowa, Creighton University in Nebraska, and 21 years at California Polytechnic State University.

"He got me to where I am today," Andrews said. "He couldn't have done more for anybody, and I had 31 years of teaching accounting thanks to Bill Schmeltz."

As dean of the College of Business Administration in the 1960s, Schmeltz introduced more international opportunities for students, offered his professional accounting experience in the classroom, created the first MBA program and captured the highest level of accreditation for the College.

Andrews kept in touch with Schmeltz for several years, and as he had for Andrews those years ago, Schmeltz always kept his doors open to the talented minds that Andrews might recommend for BGSU graduate programs in business.

"My first year, I had a young lady who was very bright," Andrews recalled. When she confided that she couldn't afford to earn an MBA, "I called Bill, and said, 'This is a straight-A student.' Bill said, 'Enrollment is almost closed for September, but if she can get the application in, she'll get in.'"

Schmeltz even arranged for an assistantship for her, which was "just very speaking of his character," Andrews recalled.

Now, Andrews hopes the scholarship is a fitting tribute to the educator who helped launch his career.

"I want him to be recognized not as a retired dean of Bowling Green, but as the dean who lead the development of the College of Business. Because as far as I'm concerned, that's what he did," Andrews said. "This isn't about me. This is about Bill Schmeltz. I just happened to be a beneficiary."

The Schmeltz family is delighted and most appreciative that their patriarch, now 89 years old, is being honored by one of his former students, said his wife, Peggy Schmeltz '50, '70.

"I think it is wonderful that Charlie (Andrews) is going to do this for future students seeking a master's degree in business. Because of his generous support, many of these graduates will go on to become successful accountants," she said, adding that her husband still enjoys getting updates from former students like Andrews.

"Bill still occasionally hears from former students saying how much they appreciate what he has done for them. This means a lot to Bill."

(Posted July 29, 2013 )