Dr. Laurel Loren Schendel


Dr. Laurel Loren (L.L) Schendel, 1916-2008

Dr. Laurel Loren (L.L) Schendel served The Florida State University for 35 years as a professor, department head and dean of the College of Communication.

He earned his doctorate at Northwestern University and taught at the University of Oklahoma before joining the faculty of FSU in 1954. A visionary who believed in the marriage of academic research and clinical service, Dr. Schendel pioneered the training of audiologists and speech pathologists. He founded the FSU Speech and Hearing Clinic, which was later renamed in his honor. Over the years, the Schendel Clinic has helped thousands of community clients live fuller, richer lives and trained hundreds of professionals in the field of speech and hearing.

The master’s degree and clinical services programs he developed gained accreditation by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) and continue to climb in national rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

Dr. Schendel’s service to the community and the field of speech pathology and audiology crossed borders, literally and figuratively. Working with the U.S. State Department, he helped establish clinics for the hearing-impaired in France, Spain and the former Yugoslavia.

He was president of what is now called the Florida Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists and of the Florida Cleft Palate Association. He served on many boards and advisory committees, including the Florida Society for Crippled Children and Adults, the State Advisory Council for the Speech Pathology and Audiology Act, and the Comprehensive Health Planning Council of the Big Bend Area of Florida. He served as a consultant to the Children’s Bureau in Washington, D.C., a book reviewer for the ASHA journal and chairman of the Joint Educational Standards Board and Professional Standards Board Accreditation Site Visit Teams.

In 1966, he was named an ASHA Fellow for distinguished administrative, professional and educational activity. In 1970, he received a citation from the Florida Rehabilitation Association for outstanding contributions to the field. In 1971, FLASHA honored him for outstanding service to the organization and distinguished professional achievement.

His other university service included 22 years as a member of the Faculty Senate, a term as director of the London Study Center in 1976 and membership on several university-wide committees.

Colleagues described him as “a congenial confidant, a gentle counselor, a source of quiet strength, and a model of integrity and compassion.”

“He had a deep concern for people and was far more interested in asking you a question than showing he had answers,” said Dr. Donna J. Crowley, a retired associate professor who described Dr. Schendel as her mentor and friend. “He was the personification of civility — an increasingy rare quality, and his active curiosity never failed to engage me. It was a pleasure and an honor to have known him.”