The Walter E. Schmidt, S.J. & the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village Collection, 1944-2009 (bulk 1944-1974), documents the activities
of Father Schmidt and the participants of the Santa Clara Valley Youth Village. Started by a handful of youth in 1944, the
Santa Clara Valley Youth Village was created as a response to what city officials deemed a rise in juvenile delinquency during
wartime. After two brief stints by others in leadership roles, Father Schmidt was appointed director in December 1944, a position
he held until the organization was dismantled forty-one years later. The records consist of founding documents, meeting minutes,
membership lists and correspondence; fundraising and publicity materials; scrapbooks with photographs and ephemera from Youth
Village events and celebrity visits; and writings about Youth Village, Father Schmidt and juvenile delinquency. Documentation
of various athletic programs affiliated with Youth Village is also included, with more extensive coverage of the world renowned
track and field and gymnastics clubs. There are also materials documenting Father Schmidt’s life and the honors bestowed upon
him. This collection is arranged into three series: Series I: Youth Village, 1944-1988, & undated; Series II: Walter Schmidt,
S.J. Life & Honors, 1947-2009, & undated; and Series III: Audiovisual Materials, 1953-1974, & undated.
Born in San Francisco in 1911, Walter Schmidt, S.J. was the only child of Swiss immigrant parents. After graduating from St.
Ignatius High School, he worked at the Bank of Italy and attended the University of San Francisco at night. Schmidt joined
the Society of Jesus in 1929 and was ordained in 1941. He earned his A.B. and M.A. in psychology from Gonzaga University and
spent two years at St. Ignatius High School, where he taught Latin and algebra, organized the band and glee club and coached
baseball and swimming.Santa Clara University was founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus as Santa Clara College and is California’s oldest operating
institution of higher learning. It was established on the grounds of Mission Santa Clara de Asìs, the eighth of the original
21 California missions. The college originally operated as a preparatory school and did not offer courses of collegiate rank
until 1853. The institution became known as the University of Santa Clara in 1912, when the schools of engineering and law
were added. For 110 years, Santa Clara University was an all-male school. In 1961, women were accepted as undergraduates and
Santa Clara University became the first coeducational Catholic university in California. The number of students and faculty
tripled over the next decade and the university began the largest building program in school history with eight residence
halls, a student union, and an athletic stadium. In the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees voted to limit the size of the
undergraduate population, an action that was intended to preserve the character and ensure the quality of the university for
generations to come. In 1985, the university adopted Santa Clara University as its official name.
15 linear feet
(25 boxes, 5 items)
Materials in Archives & Special Collections may be subject to copyright. All requests for permission to publish from manuscripts
must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Archives & Special
Collections as the owner of the physical materials, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials.
Collection is open for research.