MRO Magazine

University of Minnesota Receives $1 Million Commitment from The Schwan Food Company and Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation

September 2, 2015
By Business Wire News


The Schwan Food Company and Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation announced today a $1 million investment in University of Minnesota academics, nutritional programming and facilities, Gopher Athletics and leadership development programs for women. The donation is being made collectively over the next three years by The Schwan Food Company and Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation.

“We are excited and proud at The Schwan Food Company to deepen our relationship with the University of Minnesota,” said Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of The Schwan Food Company and chairman of Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation. “This investment reinforces our commitment to advancing healthier communities and promoting youth education and leadership development within our home state of Minnesota.”

The monetary commitment is largely philanthropic but also includes a sponsorship. The agreement includes support from Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation for undergraduate scholarships in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, nutritional and food-safety research programs for students working toward their PhDs, a Nutrition Center within the athletic department’s Center of Excellence, Women Invested in Leadership and Learning, and a corporate sponsorship of men’s and women’s Gopher Athletics.

“We’re very happy that The Schwan Food Company and the Foundation have chosen to support our undergraduate and graduate students in such a significant way,” said Brian Buhr, dean of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. “Targeting these scholarships toward students studying food science, food safety and engineering will help ensure Minnesota continues to play a leading role in an ample, sustainable, safe food supply.”

As a part of the commitment, Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation will support the University of Minnesota athletic department’s efforts to build a Nutrition Center within its new Center of Excellence. A ground-breaking is slated for later this year.

“We are deeply grateful for The Schwan Food Company and the Foundation for the generous investment in support of Gopher Athletics and our 725 student athletes,” said Beth Goetz, University of Minnesota interim athletics director. “The foundation’s commitment to our Nutrition Center and our Women Invested in Leadership and Learning (W.I.L.L.) program will prepare generations of young women and men for a lifetime of leadership and healthy living. We are fortunate to have great partners like The Schwan Food Company that care deeply about our University and the state of Minnesota.”

About The Schwan Food Company
The Schwan Food Company is a privately held business that manufactures and markets fine frozen foods through home-delivery, retail-grocery and food-service channels. Its many popular brands include Red Baron®, Tony’s®, Bon Appétit® and Freschetta® pizza, Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts, Pagoda® snacks and appetizers, and Schwan’s® fine frozen foods. Based in Minnesota for 63 years, the company’s subsidiaries employ 14,000 people in the United States. To learn more about Schwan, visit us at

About Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation
Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation, a private charitable organization, was established in 2000 and is made possible by support from The Schwan Food Company. The foundation strives to improve the quality of life in communities where Schwan employees live and work. It focuses on exceptional efforts to end hunger, promote youth education and leadership development, and provide essential services that advance healthier communities.

About the University of Minnesota
Founded in 1851, the University of Minnesota is ranked among the nation’s top public research universities. As a land-grant institution, the U of M is committed to engaging Minnesota, national and global communities to advance interdisciplinary knowledge; enhance students’ academic, civic, career, social and personal development; and apply intellectual and human capital to serve the public good.

The Schwan Food Company:
Chuck Blomberg, 507-537-8550
University of Minnesota Foundation:
Sarah Youngerman, 651-485-7171