MU professor passes away after struggle with Leukemia

Claudia Schmidt, an associate professor of philosophy, passed away Friday Jan. 7, after battling leukemia. Schmidt, 49, passed in her sleep at her parents’ house in Riverside, Calif.

Ten years ago, Schmidt arrived at Marquette as an assistant professor, and was promoted to associate professor in 2007.

Schmidt specialized in the history of philosophy, as well as noted philosophers David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Her published articles and works include “David Hume — Reason of History,” as well as other scholarly articles on Hume, Kant and the history of philosophy.

“She had a great ability to read a text,” said Melissa Shew, an associate professor in philosophy and one of Schmidt’s former colleagues. “She was very adept at teaching the love of philosophy to students.”

Born and raised in Riverside, she first attended University of California Riverside, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in history.

She also earned doctorates in historical philosophy from the Berkeley Graduate Theological Union and in philosophy from the University of Iowa.

Claudia Schmidt was an associate Professor of Philosophy at Marquette University who passed away January 7th, 2011 after a long battle with leukemia. Photo courtesy of The Press-Enterprise.

Schmidt also became actively involved outside the classroom. She worked as secretary for Marquette’s Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, to which she was first introduced during her time at UCR.

She also served as the philosophy department’s colloquium coordinator and adviser to undergraduate and graduate students.

“Her regular presence at departmental and university-wide events, from colloquia and seminars to interdisciplinary faculty groups dedicated to Ignatian pedagogy and fellowship was notable,” said James South, philosophy department chair, about Schmidt.

After living in Milwaukee for the last 10 years, she grew fond of the city, Shew said.

“She loved going to the art museum and going to different events throughout the city,” Shew said. “Alterra Coffee was one of her favorite spots. She was always up to doing something fun and interesting and exciting.”

She is survived by her parents, Ada and Heartland Schmidt, and her brother, Steven.

A private funeral is being planned, as is a public memorial service in Milwaukee.