Donor support helped Rachel Schmidt accomplish her A plan

Jim Rhatigan, Rachel Schmidt and David Nygaard
Pictured in a WSU physical therapy lab, James Rhatigan (left) and David Nygaard ’73, ’74 established two of the fellowships received by Rachel Schmidt ’10. She hopes to follow in their philanthropic footsteps.


When Rachel Schmidt decided to apply to physical therapy school during the final year as a Shocker undergraduate, she applied to Wichita State — and only Wichita State, though she was told to send applications to more than one school.

“I put all my eggs in one basket and I took a risk applying only to WSU,” said Schmidt. “I had no plan B.”

Her gamble paid off. After receiving a bachelor’s in exercise science with a minor in Spanish in 2010, she was accepted into the physical therapy program and now is beginning her second year as a doctorate student.

Throughout her college career, with the help of scholarships and fellowships, including, most recently, the Sam and Rosemary Scherr Memorial Scholarship/ Fellowship, the Nygaard Family College of Health Professions Endowed Fellowship, the James J. Rhatigan Leadership Scholarship and Fellowship and the Lenora N. McGregor Scholarship, Schmidt has been able to focus on her studies, be active on campus and keep the cost of her education low.

“I’m so thankful for the scholarships I received as an undergraduate because they allowed me to graduate debtfree. Graduate school tuition and textbooks are expensive, so the fellowships I’ve been blessed with have helped me quite a bit.”

As an undergraduate, Schmidt was not only focused on her studies, she also was active in several campus organizations,
which included the Student Ambassador Society, Future Healthcare Professionals and the Student Government Association.
Schmidt also worked as a tour guide for WSU admissions.

“I did so much because I wanted to somehow give back to the university.”

Now, after receiving financial assistance from several donors, she has been moved and inspired by them.

Schmidt hopes to be in a position one day where she can give back to Wichita State and help others fulfill their A plans.

© 2014 Wichita State University Foundation

Wichita State University Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.