When Peter G. Schmidt, Sr. established the Olympia Tumwater Foundation in 1950 and donated the Tivoli Fountain on the Capitol Campus to the citizens of our community and Washington State, he probably couldn’t imagine just how many people the Foundation would impact.
Schmidt was a long-time President of the Olympia Brewing Company and the oldest son of the brewery’s founder. Always a believer in education, Schmidt created the Olympia Tumwater Foundation to fund opportunities for learning and historic preservation in Thurston County. The Foundation also owns and operates Tumwater Falls Park and the historic Schmidt House next to the Olympia Brewery property, and has also funded regional medical research as well as local historic preservation efforts.
Last June at the groundbreaking of the replacement of his father’s namesake school, Peter G. Schmidt Elementary School in Tumwater, son Peter G. Schmidt, Jr. spoke of his father’s life-long interest in learning and love for his community. It was only fitting, then, for the Olympia Tumwater Foundation to award the $15,000 Peter G. Schmidt, Sr. Family Scholarship in honor of Schmidt and his descendants who have donated to the Foundation. This year’s recipient, Emily Grahn of River Ridge High School, plans to earn a degree in Biology and French and then continue on to medical school.
In 1966, the scholarship program gave the first award of $500 to memorialize the late Olympia Brewing Co. President Adolph “Bump” Schmidt, Jr. Over the years, scholarships have been established and funded in memory of some Schmidt Family members, brewery employees and community members.
In 2016, the Olympia Tumwater Foundation awarded $115,000 in scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Thurston County as part of the Education Program that also includes early childhood education grants and scholarships for students at South Puget Sound Community College who have already completed at least half of their degree or certificate program. To date, over $1.8M in scholarships have been awarded to students in Thurston County.
The $115,000 was awarded to graduating seniors in Thurston County based on 5 criteria: financial need, academic promise, desire and work ethic, essay content and interview score. Seventeen finalists were awarded scholarships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, which they received at an awards ceremony and reception at the Olympia Tumwater Foundation’s historic Schmidt House on June 1.
Jaycee Day, recipient of a $5,000 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship, graduated from Tumwater High School on June 9, and said of the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, “I love that people I have just met already see the potential in me and my future plans in Engineering Management. A lot of the time it’s only teachers who get to see your potential, and it is so uplifting that others in the community see a future for me too.”
The Scholarship Committee, which is comprised of community volunteers, was impressed that Day maintained a 3.95 GPA with a rigorous class load and still found time for numerous volunteer commitments.
2016 scholarship recipients include:
Madigan Hawkins, Capital H.S. – $7,500 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Patricia McCowan, Capital H.S. – $5,000 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Rebecca Hummer, North Thurston H.S. – $7,500 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Zachary Coleman, Olympia H.S. – $5,000 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Julia Holder, Olympia H.S. – $10,000 Ted and Ruth Schmidt Memorial Scholarship
Kelsey Kua, Olympia H.S. – $5,000 Leonardson Family Scholarship
Kera Anderson, Rainier H.S. – $5,000 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Emily Grahn, River Ridge H.S. – $15,000 Peter G. Schmidt Sr. Family Scholarship
Devion Jordan, Rochester H.S. – $7,500 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Natalie Sanchez, Rochester H.S. – $10,000 Philippine Schmidt Rettenmayer Memorial ScholarshipJoseph Coppock, Timberline H.S. – $7,500 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Dana Kamenz, Timberline H.S. – $5,000 Michael K. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship
Sage Pavey, Timberline H.S. – $5,000 Robert & Jeannette Schmidt Memorial Scholarship
Julianne Thompson, Timberline H.S. – $5,000 Sharon P. Seaman Memorial Scholarship
Joseph Brascher, Tumwater H.S. – $5,000 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Jaycee Day, Tumwater H.S. – $5,000 Olympia Tumwater Foundation Scholarship
Steven Lopez, Yelm H.S. – $5,000 Fifi Schmidt Ingham Memorial Scholarship
For more information about the Olympia Tumwater Foundation, the scholarship program, Tumwater Falls Park and the Schmidt House, see their website or call 360-943-2550.