On graduation speeches, gifts and golf
The Honorable Carl H. Schwartzkopf (’69, ’90, CANR) will tell you that it was John Hannah who told him to make a gift to Michigan State University.
The former MSU president, in a graduation speech in the 1960s, said:
“Up to this point you’ve had the opportunity to sever and leave, but now you will always be a Spartan. You have duties, obligations and responsibilities to your university.”
Schwartzkopf’s recent bequest of $1 million to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources will be split between the Carl H. Schwartzkopf Bailey Scholars Endowment, an endowment to support the Bailey Scholars Program; and the Carl H. Schwartzkopf Turfgrass Lab Fund, an expendable gift for support and improvement of the turfgrass laboratory facilities at the Hancock Turfgrass Center. The Bailey Scholars Program is a non-residential, connected learning community housed in the Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies Department.
“It wasn’t even my graduation when I heard John Hannah say those words, but I remember them clearly,” Schwartzkopf says. “Anyone who has received a scholarship should give back.
I have the resources to do that and I’m glad to see it continue.”
Schwartzkopf graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1971 in
agronomy and turfgrass management, after spending a decade in the Navy. He returned to MSU in the late ’80s for a master’s degree in agricultural communications.
“I was impressed immediately by his commitment to graduate education, and by his enthusiasm for learning and growing as a professional. There was also a personal connection between the two of us: golf,” notes Frank Fear, CANR senior associate dean.
“Carl was working professionally with the USGA at the time, and he was a storehouse of knowledge about the golf business and profession. I recall introducing him to my son, Frank, a high school student who was thinking very seriously about making a career in golf. Carl gave our son really good advice about golf as a career,” Fear recalls.
Schwartzkopf began his career in golf course management at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
At the time, he was one of the first course managers with a college degree in turf management, and by 1972, he was hired by the U.S. Golf Association (USGA), where he spent the next 10 years advising courses on best practices.
Eventually, he was named national director of the USGA. He returned home, to Michigan, to join a brokerage firm that bought and sold golf courses in the United States and the Caribbean. Additionally, he was one of several investors in 187 acres near East Lansing that would become Timber Ridge Golf Club, a course that industry magazines rate as five-star.
Go to bsp.msu.edu to learn more about the Bailey Scholars Program.