On a recent tour of new facilities at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Joe and Jane Snyder were greeted with hugs from faculty and staff at every turn. The Snyders are long-time friends of the College and Dr. Snyder is a graduate of the very first DVM class at OSU.
In those days, there were only 36 students enrolled in the new program and Jane Snyder remembers being their unofficial den mother and baking them cookies. Some of Dr. Snyder’s fondest memories of that time are taking his toddler children through the animal stalls, pens, and wards.
“The first year, despite the hardship of working in barren classrooms in Dryden, was so full of excitement and energy; I will never forget it,” says Snyder. “We had enormously dedicated faculty who came to Oregon State to create a new and exceptional veterinary college, matched with an excited bunch of students, many of whom has been waiting for years for this opportunity. It was unbelievable!”
Dr. Snyder went on to a successful veterinary practice in Myrtle Point, Oregon where he and Jane provided many CVM students with a home-away-from-home and experience in veterinary practice. He feels the most rewarding part of his career has been the opportunity to share his knowledge and help students succeed. “It has been an enormous gift,” he says.
Although retired from practice, Dr. Snyder stays active in the profession through his work with the American Associate of Ruminant Practitioners and Oregon Tilth, a non-profit dedicated to sustainable agriculture. He also continues to teach, both in parasitology and small ruminant medicine at CVM, and in large animal medicine classes at Portland Community College. “I’m finding it an absolute joy,” he says. “I enjoy seeing what is going on inside these young people’s heads. I love it when a student says ‘I didn’t know a cow could be so interesting’.”
Every year, staff and fourth-year students at CVM vote for two seniors to receive the Dr. Joe and Jane Snyder Award in recognition of the students’ congeniality and helpfulness. This endowed scholarship is just one of the many ways the Snyders continue to support CVM.
For these and many other good deeds, Dr. Snyder was honored this year as an OSU Alumni Fellow whose professional, civic, and volunteer accomplishments bring acclaim to the university.