Alice Stielow Wehrung Schmidt, '41
Alice Stielow Wehrung Schmidt, a lifetime member of the Buffalo State Alumni Association, received her Bachelor of Science in Education in 1941, a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York in 1947, and pursued extensive music studies at Nova University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and the University of Buffalo.
She began her teaching career at a rural school in Amherst and later Holland, NY, before coming to Kenmore/Town of Tonawanda as a teacher of six year-olds. In 1954 she was appointed as a curriculum consultant for the system where she served seven different schools in the Kenmore district. After 33 years, as she was about to retire, another challenge appeared on the horizon. To fill elementary teacher vacancies, the University of Buffalo asked her to prepare liberal arts graduates as teachers. After a long conference, Mrs. Schmidt agreed to take 12 liberal arts graduates for a ten week course, “Fun Teaching in Elementary Schools,” and teach them the the very basics of elementary school operation. The New York State Department of Education agreed to grant the students temporary certification for one year if they agreed to become certified in elementary education. All the participates received jobs and continued to teach, and the program was repeated and repeated.
Following her retirement, Mrs. Schmidt and her husband, Carl Wehrung, moved to Florida to enjoy swimming, cruises, flying, dancing and music studies. A licensed pilot, Mrs. Schmidt has logged over 3,000 hours in flights from Buffalo to Fairbanks, Alaska, from New York Sate to Florida and many of the states in the lower 48. She has flown single engine plans as well at the Goodyear Blimp. Mr. Wehrung shared her enthusiasm for aviation and was also a licensed pilot. Mrs. Schmidt is also proficient in five instruments and taught music at the child care center in Hobe Sound, Florida. She also shared her talents in crafts, drama, and dance with seniors in Jupiter, Florida.
In 2006, Mrs. Schmidt established the Alice Stielow Wehrung Schmidt ’41 Endowed Scholarship in Elementary Education to help students with financial need complete their elementary education degree and become teachers.