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LHU News

Alumni Couple Provide Legacy Gift to Lock Haven University Foundation's Haven Fund

Dave and Sue Snyder

Lock Haven State College (LHSC) alumni, the Rev. Dr. David "Dave" Snyder '72, and his wife, Susan (Rosenberry) Snyder '73, are the newest members of the Lock Haven University Foundation's (LHUF) Legacy Society - an esteemed group of donors who have made an estate gift in support of students at Commonwealth University-Lock Haven.

Recognizing the immediate needs of Lock Haven students, the Snyders also opted to early activate their gift through a cash donation via Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from Dave's retirement plan - ensuring their support will assist students presently at The Haven, as well as in the future.

Upon celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Dave and Susan reflected on their lives with great appreciation for the profound impact Lock Haven had on them. As part of their 2024 New Year's resolution, they decided to update their last will and testament to include Lock Haven as part of their estate.

It was shortly thereafter that they contacted the LHUF to commit their legacy gift in support of The Haven Fund - the LHUF's unrestricted source of scholarship funding (formerly known as Area of Greatest Need).

For the couple, perpetuating The Haven's more than 150-year legacy of nurturing young scholars, and enhancing students' lives through the transformative power of state-funded higher education is a cause of great importance. By sharing their story, they hope to inspire fellow alumni to consider making a planned gift of their own to help future generations of Bald Eagles gain access to the same opportunities all Lock Haven alumni once cherished.

After graduating from Lock Haven in 1972 and 1973 respectively, Dave and Susan embarked on careers driven by a deep sense of purpose and compassion. Dave's professional journey led him to various roles in fundraising, while simultaneously dedicating more than 35 years to serving parishioners as an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church. Susan began her career as a tutor for students with disabilities before transitioning to guidance counseling and teaching, including serving nine and half years as a K-3 special educator.

For the Snyders, philanthropy is more than just a duty; it's a source of joy and fulfillment inspired by their belief that "You can't out-give God," and reinforced by shared philosophy of Winston Churchill's famous creed, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

From small annual gifts to larger estate contributions, Dave and Susan prioritize causes close to their hearts, particularly those aimed at advancing education, social justice, and their faith.

In the turbulent years of the early 1970s, their time at LHSC coincided with a period of profound social change. The tragic event at Kent State University, where four students were killed by the Army National Guard during protests of the Vietnam War in 1970, reverberated across college campuses nationwide, igniting a flame of civic engagement they proudly continue to uphold.

Following the Kent State shooting, they stood in solidarity with their peers, marching through downtown Lock Haven's Main Street and participating in vigils on campus in front of Russell Hall. The outrage they felt during those tumultuous times shaped their commitment to social activism, becoming defining moments that influenced their lives and careers long beyond their days at The Haven.

Their decision to include The Haven Fund as part of their legacy is an affirmation of their appreciation for the institution that helped shape them. Making their support even more special, is the fact that they were not solicited for a gift, but selflessly took it upon themselves to contact the LHUF to proactively leave their mark on Lock Haven students.

"You don't have to be a millionaire to give something back," Dave said. "I think there's a misconception about legacy giving that you have to be wealthy in order to make an estate gift. You don't. Susan and I are living examples of that."

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