Past Manhattan College Board of Trustees Chair Dies at 85

College mourns the death of Martin H. Schmidt Jr. ’51.

Martin H. Schmidt Jr. ’51, a former member and chair of the board of trustees at Manhattan College, honorary degree recipient and business leader, died on July 29. He was 85.

Schmidt held several management positions at International Projector Corp., Schering-Plough and Arthur Andersen before joining Squibb Corporation, where he climbed the corporate ranks. He began as director of physical distribution and inventory control in 1965 and held several titles before becoming president of Squibb Pacific and Italy.

While at Squibb, he served simultaneously as president and chief executive officer of Charles of the Ritz and Life Savers; group vice president of Squibb Corporation; senior consultant to the office the chairman; president of Convatec Division; and chancellor of Squibb College. In 1977, Schmidt was elected to the board of directors of Squibb Corporation and served until 1984. He retired from Squibb Corporation in 1989 and devoted much of his free time to serving numerous organizations.

Schmidt served on the board at Manhattan College for 15 years beginning in 1979, five of those years as chair. While chair, he was instrumental in strengthening the College’s financial base with a doubling of endowment; and enhancing the College’s public visibility with a number of construction projects on campus, including the building of what is now Horan Hall. The College honored him with an honorary degree in 1993.

A Bronx native, he earned a Bachelor of Arts from Manhattan in 1951 and also studied at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Columbia Graduate School of Industrial Engineering and New York University Graduate School of Business.