This year, IB Mag’s Power 100 – a list of the most influential “movers and shakers” in Northeast Ohio – features Case Western Reserve University’s beloved president Barbara “Babs” Snyder.
This achievement is just one of many during Snyder’s five-year tenure here, and reflects well on the school as well as its president. It also serves as an excellent reminder of the recent developments at CWRU for which Snyder has been the driving force.
When Snyder arrived at CWRU in 2007, the university was struggling financially and had just ushered out its fifth president in under a decade. She quickly developed a plan of action, and a strong sense of community to help see it through. She brought the campus together, touring the country to reconnect with alienated alumni. Her bold ideas and hard work earned her the school’s trust and respect, and since then she has only gained momentum.
Snyder is busy – as any university president should be – yet she finds time to connect with students at events like Homecoming and Case for Community Day. Many students agree that “Babs” is more charismatic and accessible than the typical university president.
But even more commendable is the way Snyder came to CWRU with a plan and has followed through with it. She wanted to leave a mark on this campus, and she certainly has: in the last five years, the school has turned its troubles around and is now seeing growth in many areas. The budget is balanced, philanthropy has increased 85 percent, and applications are up 83 percent.
Snyder has succeeded in improving the university’s image, revitalizing its internal affairs, and encouraging a “can-do” attitude. She made history last October when she announced CWRU’s $1 billion fundraising campaign. A billion dollars is no small feat, but Snyder inspires more than enough confidence to gain the campus’s support (especially considering the roughly $660 million already raised when the announcement was made).
And Snyder hasn’t limited herself to the university campus. According to IBMag, she is involved in University Circle initiatives such as the Uptown project, and has been actively representing CWRU in the local biomedical industry. She seems to view CWRU as part of a larger community, and as a result she has emerged as a powerful leader in Cleveland.
President Snyder’s appearance in the Power 100 is certainly great publicity for CWRU. But it is also a reminder of the growth that has been happening here since Snyder took office, and we hope she will continue setting her sights high as she leads CWRU into a bright future.