Interim President Lee Snyder, PhD
Respected educator and administrator Lee Snyder, PhD, will serve as interim president of Eastern Mennonite University beginning July 1, 2016. Her appointment comes as President Loren Swartzendruber retires after a 13-year tenure and more than 35 years in Mennonite higher education.
Snyder brings a lifetime of service to Mennonite higher education to the interim role. From 1996 until retiring in 2006, Snyder served as the eighth president of Bluffton (Ohio) University.
Previously, she was vice president and academic dean for 12 years at EMU. Snyder, who holds a doctorate in American and Victorian literature from the University of Oregon, came to EMU in 1974. Until 1982, she taught part-time in the humanities and in English, and was an assistant in the dean’s office. She was named academic dean in 1984 and then assumed the responsibilities of vice president as well in 1987.
After retiring from Bluffton University, Snyder returned to EMU to serve as interim provost for the 2008-09 academic year.
A native of Harrisburg, Oregon, Snyder attended EMU for one year and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon. Later she earned a master’s degree in English literature and linguistics from James Madison University and returned to University of Oregon for her doctorate.
Snyder and her husband, Delbert, taught in Nigeria from 1965 to 1968. Her many board and association assignments include: moderator of Mennonite Church USA, chair of the China Educational Exchange Board, chair of the Executive Board of Mennonite Church USA and a member of Mennonite Health Services Alliance Board of Directors. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she served as interim provost at Goshen (Indiana) College. She has also held brief assignments in Asia and Latin America.