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Jan. 13, 2021
This paid piece is sponsored by Dakota State University.
As a new year unfolds, so do new opportunities.
For Jon Schemmel, those opportunities begin with his new position at Dakota State University as the vice president for institutional advancement.
Though his official start date isn’t until Jan. 22, Schemmel has made a jump-start on the goals and hopes he has for Dakota State’s Foundation and Alumni Association.
“My ultimate goal is to create a culture of philanthropy and build a Foundation and Alumni Association that all constituents are proud of, as well as continue and form great relationships that will lead to significant investments into DSU and President (Dr. José-Marie) Griffiths’ vision for the future,” he said.
His other goals include leading all aspects of development and engagement of DSU and creating relationships with both internal and external individuals, the Madison community, corporate partners, donors and investors, as well as alumni and the student-body.
It comes down to the people and the relationships between them, he said.
In addition to growing and maintaining relationships, Schemmel also plans to continue the collaborative environment among staff and faculty, as well as the various departments within DSU, to further support the greater good of the institution and the vision of the university’s president.
“The growth and vision President Griffiths has created over the past few years has been incredible. It’s something that’s exciting to be a part of. Dakota State is truly poised to build something special,” he said.
So what led Schemmel to this position?
It’s an experience you might call a home run.
Schemmel played baseball for the University of Minnesota and Concordia University, St. Paul. He also played for the New York Mets and San Diego Padres, making it as high as the AAA level. He graduated from San Diego State University.
After his career in baseball came to an end, Schemmel began working in sales and recruiting, and then worked as the senior associate athletic director for development at the University of South Dakota.
While at USD, he led all aspects of athletic development that resulted in building the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, track and soccer complexes while tripling the annual fund. He also was able to raise several million dollars for the DakotaDome renovation project before leaving for Miami University in Oxford, Oho. At Miami, he oversaw all aspects of athletic development while successfully completing the $80 million Graduating Champions campaign and launched the Miami Athletic Fund.
“I believe athletics has prepared me for my new role as VP of advancement because their fundraising and revenue techniques emulate a similar operation,” he said. “I’ve also had opportunities to build teams and promote a collaborative environment, a factor I’m excited to implement at DSU.”
Other opportunities he’s excited for?
To be back home.
Although he was born in Eden Prairie, Minn., Schemmel considers Madison home, thanks to the many family members nearby. In fact, his grandparents Bud and Marcia Wenk live one block from Dakota State and his grandmother also served on the DSU Foundation Board. His parents grew up in Madison and graduated from Madison High School.
“The timing was right for our family to come home. Having the opportunity to build something special with DSU is just icing on the cake.”
“The timing was right for our family to come home.” Meet the former baseball pro turned university leader who’s coming back to Madison in a new role at DSU.