While the pandemic prevented Case Western Reserve’s supporters from giving President Barbara R. Snyder the kind of campus-wide sendoff her extraordinary tenure deserved, they still found an unforgettable way to convey appreciation.
A fundraising effort in her honor that, as of Tuesday evening, had raised more than $27 million.
“We were overwhelmed with the generous outpouring of support from our community,” said trustee Frank Linsalata, the chair of the Board of Trustees that unanimously appointed Snyder in 2006. “[It] speaks to Barbara’s leadership and reflects the relationships that she has developed and sustained during her tenure as our president.”
In recognition of Snyder’s longstanding emphasis on access and affordability for Case Western Reserve students, the contributions shared Tuesday focused overwhelmingly on student support. During the university’s most recent capital campaign, Forward Thinking, donors committed more than $250 million for scholarships and fellowships. The gifts announced Tuesday represent the first stage of a new initiative to increase financial resources available to support students.
The announcement came as part of a largely virtual gathering of current and former board members held to express gratitude to President Snyder for her many contributions to the university over the past 13 years. In addition to sharing the scholarship totals, the event included the board’s award of the title of President Emerita to Snyder, as well as the University Medal, Case Western Reserve’s highest form of recognition.
“Thank you, Barbara, for elevating Case Western Reserve University, enhancing our students’ experience, re-engaging alumni and friends across the country and the globe, and for serving as a leader on higher education on a national stage,” said board chair Fred DiSanto, who was present on the stage of the Maltz Performing Arts Center with Linsalata and Snyder, whose last day as president is Sept. 30.
“I have often said I put my heart and soul into Case Western Reserve,” she said Tuesday. “I am going to miss you all more than I can say.”