Steyer Family Selected as 2018 Distinguished Midland Family

Steyer Family Selected as 2018 Distinguished Midland Family

Thursday, September 27, 2018

For more than 50 years and through three generations, the Steyer name has been synonymous with Midland University.

On September 30th, the Dr. Caryl and Shirley Steyer Family will be recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Midland Family.

The Steyer legacy began in 1961 when Dr. Steyer accepted a position as a Dean of Men and sociology professor with Midland. It began a 26-year run for Dr. Steyer at Midland that saw him named Vice President of Student Services in 1969 and eventually Vice President of Student Affairs in 1976.

He was chosen as an Outstanding Educator in America in 1973.

Former Midland President Dr. Carl Hansen recalls Dr. Steyer as being not only an outstanding representative for the college, but a mentor for the students.

“He was a wonderful part of my administrative team, always thoughtful and truly student-centered,” Hansen said. “Of all the people I have had the privilege of working with in academia, he’s near the top of the list of those I deeply admire. What a wonderful man and wonderful family.”

John Steyer ‘85, one of three children of Dr. Steyer and Shirley, said his father always showed an interest in wanting to mold and shape the lives of young people, starting with his days as a parole officer for the State of Nebraska. “He had been an admissions counselor at Doane (his alma mater) and a parole officer and both jobs required an understanding of people,” John said. “He loved helping shape lives, especially those less fortunate. It was that passion that kept him fueled all the years he served at Midland.”

John said his father’s mentoring of young people extended beyond the walls of Midland. It was also a role his mother embraced. “We would love having students in our home for meals, especially international students,” he said. “My mom was my dad’s biggest supporter and quickly became one of Midland’s biggest supporters. We went to virtually every sporting event, musical concert, whatever was going on, we were there with my father.”

Caryl and Shirley’s love for Midland college quickly spread to their children as all three, Bill, Karen and John, would either graduate or attend the university.

That love spread to another generation as John’s son, Dylan ’16,became an All-American baseball player at Midland and would meet his future wife, Kylie (Schmitz) ‘15 at Midland.

John also got to see his oldest son, Adam, serve as an assistant baseball coach for three years of Dylan’s career. “Having Midland legacy after my siblings and me has been thrilling,” John said. “We are quite proud of Adam and how he made Midland baseball better and I’m certain somewhere down the line he will guide his own team.

“Dylan graduating was a very special moment and watching him set almost a dozen records was icing on top. Seeing him receive the Petrow Award for Outstanding Male Athlete was special because I remember so many of my Midland sports heroes that received that award.”

Caryl retired in May of 1987. Shirley passed away in 1994 and Caryl died in 2007, but their memory lives on with the Dr. Caryl and Shirley Steyer Scholarship Fund that is awarded each year.

John says more than 50 years of Midland memories will always be with him and his family. “I remember as a child being invited to eat Sunday evening dinners at “Mom Scott’s” apartment in Men’s Memorial back in the 1960s. She kind of adopted us,” he recalled. “I was even basketball ball boy for several years under coach My Draemel and his sons, Jeff and Mike, were my sports heroes.

“The memories of eeriness of the old Administration building (even the smell) will never fade. Nor will the memories of walking across the stage at Hopkins Arena getting my degree.

“So my memories span 57 years, and I’m still making more.”