For the Team

Augustana alumnus and donor Darryl Schultz believes our achievements are not done alone—they are the result of a team effort.

Sydney Tancowny - 06 July 2020

For Darryl Schultz, it’s all about the team.

Darryl began his studies at Augustana (then Camrose Lutheran College) in 1972 with plans to continue on to dental school. He knew early on his path led to a career in medicine and remembers, at six-years old, “operating” on plasticine to remove small objects placed inside.

During this time, Darryl’s father became his first teammate. A strong supporter of post-secondary education despite not having the opportunity to attend himself, he would encourage Darryl by asking questions that would keep him focused on his goals and what he wanted to achieve. When the time came for Darryl to pursue these goals through a post-secondary education, he knew this support would continue—his father had said as much himself.

Unfortunately, shortly before coming to Augustana his father’s health took a turn for the worse. With financial help no longer possible, Darryl had to work to put himself through school. “There was no safety net, so there were no other options,” said Darryl.

Equipped with a strong work ethic from working on his father’s farm, Darryl would attend class during the day before leaving to work as a taxi driver at night, taking the time between customers to complete his schoolwork. Eventually, it was this unrelenting schedule that resulted in Darryl being hospitalized for a time due to exhaustion.

Missing from his student days was the camaraderie shared between classmates and the chance to continue on the wrestling team after his first semester due to the demands of school and work. In spite of financing his own education and not being able to have the college experiences he wanted, Darryl still views his education as a team effort.

“I am who I am today because of Augustana professors,” said Darryl. When he recalls his time at Augustana, he remembers his courses which gave him a sense of pride and transformed him into a critical thinker; he remembers many office hours with professors and he remembers the encouragement from sociology professor Jane Ross who would reply to his troubles with a simple ‘We can do it’.

This ‘we’, of course, included a lot of hard work on Darryl’s end. However, it was the teamwork between Darryl and his professors that continuously encouraged him to persist. And persist he did—from failing his first test to later receiving an academic award  for which Darryl received both funds and a fountain pen that he still keeps to this day. 

Pictured above: Darryl’s prized fountain pen he received for his Academic – Honours Standing award. The inscription reads “Darryl Schultz, Academic CLC 73-74”
Pictured above: Darryl’s prized fountain pen he received for his Academic – Honours Standing award. The inscription reads “Darryl Schultz, Academic CLC 73-74”

“Academic awards that provided funds and encouragement went a long way in helping me with my education.”

Later, when Darryl began his practice at the Camrose Dental Health Centre, he was told about the annual scholarship the Centre’s dentists supported at Augustana. Darryl decided to lend his support to the scholarship, joining a team that helped ensure fewer students would have to study for exams in a taxi like he did.

Yet, what is clear to Darryl is that his accomplishments were not achieved alone. His support of Augustana students was not a solitary act—he was one of many dentists who supported one of many Augustana awards. And that’s what matters.

“It’s not about me,” said Darryl. “What I do only makes a difference because it’s communal.”

Today, Darryl’s teams—and his contributions to these teams—continue to grow. From consulting for the Alberta Dental Association and College in Standards of care for dentists in Alberta, to imparting his love of farming on to his son, to currently serving on the board for KidsCampus Daycare in Camrose, Darryl’s contributions are meaningful because they are not done alone.

Of course, Darryl still remains on Augustana’s team. Only this time, as an alumnus and donor, it’s to give his own ‘We can do it’ to students.

“Here’s to the team,” said Darryl.