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Dr. Mary Beth Snyder announces retirement

Monday, April 29, 2013
Dr. Mary Beth Snyder announces retirement
By Katie Land, news editor

For nearly 20 years, Dr. Mary Beth Snyder, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, has given her wisdom, leadership, and generous spirit to the Oakland University community. Dr. Snyder has announced her retirement, to begin this spring.

A dedicated leader and longtime advocate for students, Dr. Snyder brought a fresh vitality to student life and supported a wide variety of student-centered initiatives, including playing a significant role in the expansion of the Oakland Center, the addition of two student housing complexes, the launch of a first-year advising center, the building of the recreation center, and numerous student wellness upgrades.

"Mary Beth's many contributions to campus life and student engagement are incalculable. The impact she's had on the growth of Oakland University will be felt by generations to come," said OU President Gary Russi.

Dr. Snyder joined the Oakland community in 1994 as vice president for Student Affairs, and expanded her role in 2003 to include enrollment management. During her many years at Oakland, she has overseen a comprehensive array of student recruitment and retention programs. Additionally, she has taught in the School of Education and Human Services as an adjunct faculty member.

“Mary Beth is the total package: She is professional, creative, has an unbelievable work ethic and has maintained a level of compassion over the course of her career that is truly rare,” said Glenn McIntosh, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Life. “She knows how to make things happen. Mary Beth and I share an office suite and I will miss the camaraderie, friendship and respect that she inspires everyday. Over the years, she has become like family to me, and will leave a void in my daily life.”

Dr. Snyder (fourth from left) at the recent groundbreaking for the new student housing complex. The complex will be completed in 2014.
Dr. Snyder has been recognized with a number of distinctions and awards. She is the recipient of the 2002 Phyllis Googasian award for the advancement of women in higher education, the 2007 NASPA Distinguished Service award and the Pillar of the Profession honor in 2010, and the Burnstein Clinic Esteemed Women of Michigan award in 2012.

Her research interest in the measurement of quality in higher education led to her selection in 2004 to participate in the Lumina-sponsored Project DEEP – research that documented national practices that lead to student success in higher education.

“Mary Beth is a wonderful supervisor, mentor and colleague. I have worked with her for 19 years, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for her,” said Nancy Schmitz, assistant vice president for Student Affairs and Student Life.

“Mary Beth can handle difficult situations with poise and tact, and always finds the best resolution. Anyone can tend a garden and the flowers will still bloom, but Mary Beth has built new gardens. In her time as vice president, she has made significant accomplishments that were all part of her vision.”

A reception to honor Dr. Snyder has been scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28, at the Oakland Center.

Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, events, and achievements at OU, visit the news site at and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News.