Don Schol was born in a small farming town in Northwest Iowa. He moved to Dallas, Texas with his parents after World War II. Don’s father had been a prisoner of war in Germany, and upon returning home, wanted a fresh start in a new community in warmer climate. Don grew up in Dallas and attended parochial schools. After he graduated from high school he attended a Roman Catholic seminary where he studied to be a priest for three years. Deciding to leave the seminary, Don attended the University of Dallas where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and art.
After working a year for an architectural firm, Don went to the University of Texas where he studied sculpture and drawing. Immediately upon graduation with a Master of Fine Arts degree, Don was drafted into the Army and sent to Infantry Officer’s Candidate School and graduated as a Second Lieutenant after 10 months of training. He was assigned to a mechanized infantry unit at Fort Hood, Texas. Shortly he received orders to deploy to Vietnam. When arriving in Vietnam, expecting to be assigned to a combat unit, Don was recruited by the Army Office of Military History to lead an combat artist team whose mission it was to record the war for historical purposes. The other four members of his team were also soldier/artists.
After his tour in Vietnam, Don and his teammates were sent to Hawaii to complete their works on paper, canvas, and in clay for the Army Office of Military History War Art Collection, housed in Washington, D.C. After completing this mission, Don returned to Fort Hood to train other young men to function and survive in the Vietnam War.
After being separated from active duty, Don became a member of the Art Faculty at the University of North Texas, where he has taught photography, drawing, and sculpture for the last 40 years.
Don Schol lives in Argyle, Texas, where he and his wife run Burnley-Schol Studios.