Brothers graduate from UIU


Brothers graduate from UIU

Storm Schmitt resisted the thought of attending college at Upper Iowa University. The Sumner native felt its 14-mile proximity to home was way too close for comfort. However, after dozens of college visits around the region, he could not find the right fit. Finally, a community leader strongly suggested he visit Upper Iowa. The Friday before high school graduation, Storm took a tour, talked to a professor, and ate lunch. He made his admissions deposit that day.

  “I got a good vibe right away, one that I had not felt at any of the other college visits I’d been on,” he said. “Everyone I talked to was so down-to-earth. I’ve very glad I changed my mind about Upper Iowa.”

  As someone accustomed to being active in high school, Storm jumped right in at UIU. He played center for the men’s basketball team for four years, was a student ambassador and summer orientation assistant. His senior year he was crowned Homecoming king.

A few months after graduation in 2009, Storm was hired as an admissions counselor for Upper Iowa. He loved telling potential students his story and being able to share his love for UIU.

Storm knew that his education wouldn’t stop after earning his undergraduate degree, and he enrolled in the Upper Iowa Master of Business Administration (MBA) online program with an emphasis in human resource management. The program was challenging and well worth the extra effort.

In January, he was hired as the UIU executive director of admissions. Saturday, May 11, Storm received his graduate hood during Upper Iowa University’s MBA commencement ceremony.

Walking across the stage in the same ceremony was Storm’s youngest brother, Mitchell, who earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting.

Mitchell, too, hadn’t considered Upper Iowa University. He said he didn’t want to be known as “Storm’s little brother.” Eventually, however, he had to endure the title.

After graduating from Sumner-Fredericksburg High School in 2010, Mitchell headed to Coe College in Cedar Rapids, where he intended to play football for the Kohawks and major in economics.

With his freshman year behind him, Mitchell worked on the support crew for UIU’s Team Peacock during RAGBRAI. What he saw during that weeklong adventure inspired him.

“I saw how the professors genuinely cared about their students, and I was impressed that they ride RAGBRAI to raise scholarship money for their students,” he said.

During a campus visit, he sat down with Randy Thomas, UIU associate professor of accounting, who mapped out Mitchell’s college career. Working diligently, and at Mitchell’s request, Thomas took into account Mitchell’s transfer credits and came up with a plan so he could graduate from Upper Iowa in just two years.

Mitchell is headed to South Bend, Ind., in the fall. He has been accepted into the Master of Accountancy program at the University of Notre Dame. Growing up Catholic, a Notre Dame education has a certain appeal to Mitchell. The university is also known for its high placement rate of graduates with the country’s big four accounting firms, which is where he wants to start his career.

Like Storm, when Mitchell arrived at Upper Iowa, he hit the ground running. He was a student ambassador, a student assistant in admissions, and a member of the UIU Business Club.

And, as much as he didn’t want to be known as “Storm’s Little Brother” on campus, it happened.

“I’d have people come up to me and say, ‘Do you know Storm?’ And I’d say, ‘A little bit.’ Then they’d say, ‘Well, you look just like him,’” he said. “It was pretty bad for a while, but it’s okay now.”


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