- Herman Frederic Lieber Award (1961)
- National Academies (1958)
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
Born on February 19, 1904 in New Haven, Connecticut, Frederic Cowles Schmidt received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Brown University in 1927 and 1928 respectively. He received his doctorate in Physical Chemistry in 1931 from Brown University as well. In this same year, he married Ruth Howell Champlin.
Though he worked in applied chemistry and industrial research while earning his degrees, teaching became the focus of Schmidt’s career after he received his Ph.D. In 1932 he accepted a position as an instructor at Union College in Schenectady, New York. He eventually became associate professor and also received visiting professorships at Albany College of Pharmacy and at Yale University. In 1947 he came to Indiana University as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 1951. He also received a position as visiting professor at the University of Hawaii in the summer of 1967. The author of many articles, he co-authored two widely used text books with his colleague William Nebergall: College Chemistry with Qualitative Analysis and General Chemistry.
Schmidt’s devotion to teaching chemistry to college students was recognized in 1961 when he received the Herman F. Lieber Award for Distinguished Teaching. He was also involved with the teaching of chemistry in high schools, serving as director of the annual I.U. Summer Institute for High School Teachers of Chemistry from 1965-1969. Schmidt retired from Indiana University with emeritus status in 1969 after 22 years of service. He died on November 18, 1975.