Words will never be able to adequately express my gratitude not just for your hospitality, but simply for the opportunity to be in your presence, listen to your stories and learn from you.
You are such a treasure of wisdom and gift to my generation of women. I feel honored and humbled to have crossed paths with you, and to have been given an opportunity to know you. I look forward to more opportunities to work and speak with you for you command a standard of excellence and professionalism that I aspire for everyday.
Dineo Mpela Thompson
Victoria would have corrected a statement which I made in the first paragraph. I said “she is 95 years old”. As Victoria would say she is “95 years young”. Victoria has changed the way I view people who are further along on their journey than I am. She emails, sends text messages, and while she may not know the technical details of how a computer works, she is always able to understand the concepts that I explain to her. Knowing her has been a very rewarding experience for me. Many people joke about having “done it all”, well, Victoria very well may have “done it all” and simply continues just finding more things to do. She offers a perspective to my, and other’s lives, that she has gained from not just a long life, but through a long and richly lived life. She has valuable insight that anyone can benefit from, and she has become a genuine friend of mine since I’ve known her.
Victoria came to NJC (New Jersey College for Women Douglass College) from humble beginnings. At NJC she majored in English and minored in French. She took classes on Saturday, worked as a waitress and it was here that she met her beloved husband Ralph Schmidt who was a handsome football player at the Freshman reception held at the Rutgers gym. Upon graduation Victoria worked in various fields and she explored exactly what she wanted to do. She worked as a model, in PR, marketing, advertising, travel and tourism, and as an entrepreneur, and a writer.
About the Author
Victoria D Schmidt is an author who understood the concepts of “lean in” long before it became part of our everyday lexicon. Throughout her life she has pursued personal, business and spiritual goals with determination and disregard of any ceiling someone else may have imagined over her head, glass or otherwise. She flourished in the light of an adoring husband and raised a loving daughter while achieving prominence and acclaim in her career. She prides herself on living every day to the fullest with happiness and joie de vivre.
Tomi Petrillo - Artist / Writer / Gallery Owner
2017 Vanguard Service Award
Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt '42
Since her graduation in 1942, Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt has been steadgast in her commitment to the Associate Alumnae of Douglas College, her class and our alumnae sisterhood. She has demonstrated unwavering loyalty, enthusiasm, dedication and selfless service. Victoria's leadership and generosity over the last 75 years has helped the Associate Alumnae of Douglas College serve alumnae. She is passionate in her support of the AADC.
Victoria is a longstanding member and dedicated advocate and supporter of the AADC. She has been a leader and is a former AADC Board President. Victoria became the benefactor of the annual Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt '42 Workplace and Professional Development Symposium, an annual symposium offering topics ranging from career opportunities , networking, to managing finances. An accomplished author, she shared her experiences and books at a special presentation titled, "Intergenerational Conversations with Douglass Women," held at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library. She also shares her wisdom with countless alumnae on her social media platform, "Victoria's Secrets," extolling the joys of being "96 years young."
She is a member of the AADC Society of Excellence, honoring her achievements as an author and leader in state government, where she inaugurated the "New Jersey & You: Perfect " tourism campaign. She has received the March of Dimes Virginia Apgar New Jersey Women of Achievement Award and the 2016 Women of Achievement Award from the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs.
Victoria is a consistent donor to the AADC Annual Appeal and she is a member of the Loree Society in the Mabel Smith Douglass Leadership Circle. She generously created an endowed fund to offer the inspiring Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt '42 Workplace and Professional Symposium through the AADC to alumnae each year. Her generosity will help ensure the strength of AADC initiatives and programs for generations to come.
We are proud to honor Victoria for her enthusiastic and steadfast service. She has truly made a difference by sharing her time, talents and treasures with the AADC. The AADC is delighted to present the Vanguard Service Award to Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt, Class of 1942
Associate Alumnae of Douglass College
AADC Vanguard Reunion Luncheon
New Brunswick, New Jersey
June 2, 2017