Robert Earl Snead, M.A.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Robert Earl Snead, M.A.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed April 22, 2024,

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Robert Earl Snead, M.A.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Vice Chancellor for Development
and Public Affairs Emeritus

Biographical Text

Robert (Bob) Earl Snead (August 20, 1934-) was born in the Sandhills region of Scotland County, North Carolina. He and his younger brother, Sam (b. 1941), are the sons of Myrtle Barber and Jesse Snead. Jesse was a successful cotton farmer and county leader while Myrtle was a tireless worker in local industry, the Snead's Grove Methodist Church, and a host of civic and county organizations. Snead graduated from Laurinburg High School (North Carolina) in 1951, and was the first from either side of his family to attend college. He entered Appalachian State Teachers' College (now Appalachian State University) in 1951 and earned bachelor's and master's degrees by 1957. As an undergraduate, he was active in student organizations and athletics, serving as president of the freshman class and the junior class and as a member of the student council. In addition, he participated in a variety of clubs and lettered as a member of the tennis team. On August 24, 1957, Snead married Minnie Austin of Boone in a service at the First Baptist Church. Minnie had just completed her freshman year at Appalachian State, and she graduated in 1960 with a B.S. degree in home economics and child development. She taught kindergarten at home and at the First Baptist Church until the state of North Carolina approved the inclusion of kindergarten in the public schools in 1972. Starting that year, she taught five-year-olds at Valle Crucis School until her retirement in 1998. The Snead's have two children. Their daughter, Sandra, was born on October 20, 1960, and is married to Scott Brown of Randleman, North Carolina. Sandy and Scott live with their son Robert, in High Point, North Carolina. Samuel Austin, the Sneads' son, was born on February 23, 1964, and is married to Anna Hamrick of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Sam and Anna live in Asheville, North Carolina. Following graduation, Snead accepted a position to teach biology and mathematics at Appalachian High School (now Watauga High School), which, at that time, was on the campus of Appalachian State and served as its demonstration school. During his nine years at Appalachian High School, he coached, at various times, baseball, basketball, and tennis. For seven of those years, he taught science methods to college students and served as supervising teacher for more than fifteen student teachers. In March 1966, Snead accepted the position of director of alumni affairs at Appalachian State, a post he held until 1971. When Dr. Herbert W. Wey succeeded Dr. W.H. Plemmons as president (a title later changed to chancellor), Wey asked Snead to draft a plan for establishing a development office, a fund-raising organization, and a foundation for the institution. When Snead presented the plan to Wey, Wey asked him to assume the responsibility, as Appalachian State's first director of development, for implementing it. Snead was instrumental in establishing the Appalachian State University Foundation in November 1970. In early 1971, the university announced its first major fund-raising drive, with a goal of eight million dollars by 1978. "Eight by '78" was the theme for the campaign, which ultimately achieved its goal some two years early. In early 1972, Chancellor Wey requested, and the Board of Trustees approved, a reorganization plan which established the Office of Development as a major division of the university-joining Academic Affairs, Business Affairs, and Student Affairs. Snead was then named vice chancellor of Development and Public Affairs, a title he held until 1989. During Snead's nineteen years as chief development officer for the university, the division evolved into a comprehensive public relations organization, encompassing alumni affairs, news bureau, public affairs, and printing and publications, in addition to development, fund-raising, and the Appalachian Foundation. It was during his tenure that several significant initiatives were begun by the development division and foundation which remain vital programs for the university. These include the Yosef Club, the Appalachian House in Washington, District of Columbia; the New York Loft; the Dark Sky Observatory; An Appalachian Summer; and the student ambassador organization. In 1989, Snead accepted Chancellor John Thomas' request that he become executive assistant to the chancellor, a position he held until his retirement in 1997. In this position, he worked as liaison between the chancellor's office and the North Carolina General Assembly, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, and Appalachian State's Board of Trustees. In addition, he chaired special projects for the university and continued contacts with special constituencies. Throughout his career, Snead was active in community and civic organizations. For more than thirty-four years, he taught a men's Sunday School class at the First Baptist Church in Boone. He has served as president/chair of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, the Boone Jaycees, the Watauga County Recreation Commission, and the High Country United Way. He was one of the founders of the Watauga County Little League Baseball Program and served as its president for seven years. He has been a member of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors continually since 1967. Upon Snead's retirement in September 1997, Governor James B. Hunt awarded him the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state's highest award for its citizens. In 1998, Appalachian's Board of Trustees named Snead vice chancellor for development and public affairs emeritus. As of this writing, he continues his involvement in community, church and civic affairs. He spends his time growing Christmas trees, looking after his family farm, traveling with his wife, and playing golf. Sources: Long association and personal correspondence. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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