Dorothy Schimke '64 to Receive the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award

Monday, May 19, 2014

It is common for young people to dream of who they want to be when they’re older or what their perfect dream job might be, but Dorothy Schimke ‘64 chose not to remain fixated on any particular career goal. She decided to live in the moment and seize any opportunities that came her way.

Schimke grew up on campus. When she was 4, her father became the head of the Chemistry Department. Since then, she has always felt like a “family member” to the Pacific community. When she chose to attend Pacific, she instantly became involved with campus life. She loved attending the football and basketball games. “I was a member of Theta Nu Alpha and thrust myself wholeheartedly into campus activities,” Schimke recalled. “It was during my time as a student that I really grew, academically, socially and personally. I greatly treasure my time at Pacific.”  

Upon graduation, Schimke immediately began her numerous successful careers. She began as a high school English teacher where she took a break teaching and moved to Europe for two years, landing a job as an American high school dormitory counselor in Germany. Upon her return, she bounced around, grasping opportunities as they arose. Her particular occupational success stories lie in being a business office manager, a legal secretary, a real estate developer and a property specialist for the city and county of San Francisco.

“I am proudest of my role in redefining the San Francisco Waterfront, from Fisherman's Wharf to the new Mission Bay community,” Schimke says. “I am also very proud of my role in negotiating several groundbreaking deals that helped San Francisco International Airport maintain its leadership as a world-class airport.”  

Schimke and her partner, Cliff Jarrard, currently split their residence between San Francisco and Sonoma, Calif., where they keep themselves busy. Schimke and Jarrard manage 60 acres of raisin vineyards and rental houses in Fresno, Calif., and a small farm and vineyard in the Sonoma wine country where they grow fine pinot grapes for sale to premium wineries.

Schimke also supports young opera singers for the Merola Opera Company. “Music is my passion and I support it in every way I can,” Schimke said. “In the four short years I have sponsored a young artist, I have seen two of them go on to perform regularly on the great stages in the United States.”

While she is extremely devoted to keeping her lifestyle active, many business-related social events and activities with friends fill up a large portion of her life as well.

As she reflects on her many experiences and aspirations, Schimke is glad that she didn’t fixate on a specific career goal formulated by her youthful self. “Life has so much more to offer than I could conceive of as a child or even as a young woman,” Schimke said. “I'm glad that I retained the flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves; opportunities I would never have thought of on my own. I believe this is the secret to my career success.”