Most Interesting People: Barbara Snyder

President of Case Western Reserve University

Age • 52

Why she’s interesting • Her career in academia has taken her from CWRU to The Ohio State University and, last summer, back to CWRU again, where she serves as the university’s first female president.

Her worst grade ever • She cannot recall a grade even as low as a C, though she does concede that she was “truly terrible” in gym class. She enjoys watching others play sports, especially at the collegiate level. “They play with a certain kind of passion, which really makes it special.”

Spartans surprise • CWRU’s football team completed an undefeated regular season (11-0). For the first time in the school’s history, the team was nationally ranked. “I would love to take credit for that,” she says, “but I can’t.”

Favorite spot on campus • The quad behind Adelbert Hall, which students proceed through on their way to commencement

Logo let go • This summer, CWRU replaced its edgy logo (students joked that it resembled a fat man carrying a surfboard) with a new-and-improved version of its traditionalrising sun. “I think it has made a difference, in conjunction with our efforts to really reconnect with our alumni.” One of those efforts is a 32-city tour of alumni chapters.

No big deal • Snyder says little has been made of the fact that she is CWRU’s first female president because Northeast Ohio has a “great tradition” of women leading colleges and universities. “It might be unusual nationally,” she says, “but not in Ohio.”
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