Roger Schmidt, my very first
philosophy teacher and friend for over fifty years, died on April 30,
2018. Here is some information about him from articles he once
Roger Schmidt graduated from San Bernardino Valley College, the
University of Redlands, and the Claremont Graduate School with majors
in philosophy, religion, and history. He taught philosophy and
religious studies at San Bernardino Valley College for 26 years and
Crafton Hills for four years. In 1970, he was instrumental in
developing a program that made San Bernardino Valley College the first
public community college in California to offer a program in Religious
In 1974, he was a member of the American Academy of Religion project on
the Study of Religion in Two-Year Colleges funded by the Charles E.
Merrill Trust, and in 1975, he was recipient of a National Endowment
for the Humanities Fellowship.
While a professor at San Bernardino Valley College, Roger was very
active in promoting academic excellence and in recognizing academic
achievement. He was involved with the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
He was significant in revamping the SBVC scholarship procedures, and he
actively pursued scholarship money from outside sources for the benefit
of students. Roger, together with Professor Sylvia Sherman, was
instrumental in establishing the Honors Convocation in 1982, which has
continued to serve as a venue for rewarding our school's ourstanding
scholars. Except when he was at Crafton Hills College, Roger either
chaired or co-chaired the schoarship committee from the early 1980s
until his retirement. Roger was named Teacher of the Year at Valley
College in 1985, and was selected as Professor Emeritus in 1993.
Schmidt authored numerous articles, book reviews, and booklets, a college textbook, Exploring Religion, and co-authored the college text, Patterns of Religions. In addition to these books, he co-authored a book on the history of sports at SBVC entitled San Bernardino Valley College Sports, 1926-1996 and engaged in research on other aspects of the history of Valley College.
From 1991-2001, he was professor of religion, department chair and Dean
of Academic Affairs at the University of the West, a university
grounded in Buddhist traditions and values. In 1998, he was the
recipient of an honorary Doctor of Letters. Besides teaching and
writing, he remained active on SBVC alumni publications and the
scholarship program. He continued to promote San Bernardino Valley
College and to recruit funding for it to expand the scholarship
program. He served as interim president of the University of the West.