Berrong and Schmidt to be Inducted into SWOSU Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame
Brad Berrong of Weatherford and Dr. Dwayne Allen Schmidt of Oklahoma City are being inducted into Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame during 2013 graduation ceremonies on the Weatherford campus.
Berrong is a long-time independent insurance agent and Schmidt is a founding member of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates and Oklahoma Foundation for Cardiovascular Research.
Both Berrong and Schmidt will be honored by SWOSU President Randy Beutler at the May 11 SWOSU Convocation on the Weatherford campus and will be the featured speakers. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at Milam Stadium on the SWOSU campus.
Brad Berrong is a 1975 graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University where he received a degree in business administration and a minor in political science.
Berrong has worked his entire life to help build his family’s insurance business, having been in the business for 39 years. Since he came into his father's (Ed, Sr.) agency, the insurance portion of the business has grown to 86 times its previous size. The Berrong agency operates in 18 states and has been awarded the industry's Best Practices Award for being one of the top 10 agencies for its size in the United States for 18 consecutive years—the only agency in the nation to achieve that record.
Berrong embraced work early in life by selling Sunday Oklahoman papers at the age of seven, working as a bus boy and janitor at the Orbit Drive-In at the age of 11, and working as a waiter at the Mark Restaurant from junior high through high school.
As a student at SWOSU, he managed seven apartment complexes and over 20 rent houses for several owners. He supervised a work crew to maintain the properties. It was a full time job, but he still went to all his classes and graduated in four years with a 3.86 grade point average.
One of his best memories at SWOSU was working on "The Broadside" political science newspaper with Mike Connelly and Chris Caldwell under instructor Ed Rolison’s sponsorship. Berrong was involved with the political science department’s efforts to get nationally-recognized political speakers to come to SWOSU.
Berrong’s public service work includes eight years as chairman of Weatherford Regional Hospital and leading the way on fundraising and building efforts for the hospital’s outstanding new facility that was recently built in eastern Weatherford. He served 12 years as chairman of Weatherford Public School Foundation, one year as chairman of the Great Plains Family YMCA; president and Paul Harris fellow of the Weatherford Rotary Club; and three years as board member of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma. Berrong has been a recipient of the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Service Award. Berrong has also been very supportive of many activities at SWOSU.
He and his wife, Jeanine, have two sons—Jeff and Michael.
Dr. Dwayne Allen Schmidt is a 1979 graduate of SWOSU and a 1983 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College Of Medicine. His residency in internal medicine was completed at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, and his Cardiovascular Fellowship was completed at Harvard, Beth Israel Hospital in Boston in 1990.
The Clinton native’s specialty is interventional cardiology. He started private practice in 1991, forming the Heart Group of Oklahoma which later evolved into Oklahoma Cardiovascular Associates. Schmidt is a founding member of OCA and was a founding member of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital Board.
After returning to Oklahoma from Boston, Schmidt was a clinical associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, conducting research and training cardiologists in the use of new device technologies to treat coronary artery disease.
As a founder and clinical investigator with Oklahoma Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, Schmidt has co-authored numerous investigational studies focused on the treatment of cardiovascular disease and improving the safety and efficiency of treatments for heart disease.
At SWOSU, Schmidt graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. Professional Degree in chemistry and was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
He has five children and resides northeast of Oklahoma City with his wife, Susan, and their two younger children. He enjoys farm and ranch work at the family ranch in southern Oklahoma as well as hunting and fishing with his children.