Development spotlight: The Schwan Food Company

During his presentation at the Carlson School of Management’s 1st Tuesday event, Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of The Schwan Food Company and chairman of Schwan’s Corporate Giving Foundation, announced 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 Smyrnios. “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 (CFANS), 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.

Specifically, CFANS is receiving $375,000 in support that will focus on:

  • Graduate student support in the departments of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE) and Food Science and Nutrition (FScN)
  • Developing an undergraduate scholarship program with BBE and FScN

“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 CFANS. “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.”

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

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.

To learn more about opportunities to support CFANS research, visit the Give to CFANS webpage or contact Mark Sorenson-Wagner (