Sometimes our students look no further than their own family for some inspiration to go back to school. On this episode of Online Stripes, meet the Schmedding family — a brother, sister and dad who are all Mizzou graduates.

Many of our students have families and a busy life — online flexibility is a big perk — so there’s a good chance that those family members are the ones inspiring them to get their degree.

That’s true for the Schmeddings. A brother, sister and dad who all graduated from Mizzou. Dad — Gary Schmedding — paved the way, when he graduated in 1960 with his bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Gary: “I just think the time here at the University of Missouri gave me a set of principles, core values, an opportunity to do what I really wanted to do with my life. My future was so much greater when I left here than when I came and I could not believe it."

And now his daughter, Teresa, and his son, Neil, are both graduates.

Gary: “I think it's just a terrific legacy and I'm proud of them and I'm happy for me.”

Teresa followed in his footsteps.

Teresa: “Growing up, my dad was my hero. He was a journalist. He stood for truth and justice, and I always admired what he did. So I was super excited to be able to come to Missouri and carry on his tradition in journalism, both as a profession and also from being a part of the Missouri family.”

She graduated from Mizzou with her bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1989. And then in 2009, she got her master’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in strategic communication online… taking one class at a time while working full time.

Teresa: “I really started to learn how to manage people better and how to run a newsroom and handle the finances associated with that. And those were all lessons I learned in the online program, and I apply those every day.”

After graduating, she encouraged her brother, Neil, to join the Mizzou family.

Neil: “We had had a conversation before I started about whether or not the quality would be there for the on-campus experience versus the online experience. And since she had done both, she felt that her quality of education was just the same online as it was being on campus.”

So Neil took the leap and got his bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy through an online program.

Neil: "It feels great. It's kind of something very nice to share with my dad and my sister.”

And his dad, Gary, agrees. 

Gary: “It's a great family reunion and it's a great Tiger reunion.”

Join the family — our family of students, faculty, and alumni at Mizzou Online.

Tune in to our next episode of Online Stripes. Presented by the University of Missouri — home of Mizzou Online. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and smart speakers.