Anne Selden '65 and Larry Snyder '65
Husband and wife named 2013 Walter E. Beach Distinguished Alumni Award Winners
by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
July 30, 2013
Together, Anne Selden '65 and Larry Snyder '65 are a dynamic team. They recently were named joint recipients of the Water E. Beach Distinguished Alumni Award.
When Anne Selden ’65 and Larry Snyder ’65 reconnected at
their 30th class reunion, they clicked immediately, like long-lost best friends.
But the truth was, they couldn’t quite place each other. After all, they hadn’t
traveled in the same circles as undergraduates, and it wasn’t always easy, in
Dickinson’s pre-communal-dining days, to get to know students from different
majors, residence halls and clubs.
“I kept trying to conjure an image of him as a 20-year-old
with no luck, and then it hit me—he was a waiter in my dorm,” Anne says, her
voice ringing with delight at the memory of Larry in his white-and-blue
waiter’s coat. “We had a good laugh about that. And at the end of the weekend,
we promised to stay in touch.”
Eighteen years later, Larry and Anne are husband and wife. And
together, they are a dynamic team, infusing a double dose of passion and
purpose into their work as alumni leaders and volunteers. And they say they
relish the chance to help other alums deepen connections to the college, and to
Anne, a former English major, is a retired communications
professional who has served on the Alumni Council, Dickinson Works and Parents
Council. Larry, a former economics major and student-athlete (baseball, football)
is retired from a career in finance management and has served on the Dickinson
Fund Advisory Committee and the McAndrews Fund Committee. Both have additionally contributed as JDS
co-chairs, class agents, reception hosts and DAVS and reunion volunteers.
Their dedication springs partly from example, since, as
joint recipients of the 2013 Walter E. Beach Award, Anne and Larry follow in
the footsteps of distinguished mentors. As a Trustee, Anne served side-by-side
with her mentor, Trustee Emeritus Walter E. Beach ‘56. And Larry’s mentor and coach,
Wilbur “Goby” Gobrecht ’52, received the award in 2006.
“Those personal connections add a whole other layer of
meaning to this award,” says Larry, noting that Gobrecht, who had mentored
Larry’s older brothers as a high-school coach before accepting a post at
Dickinson, inspired him to attend Dickinson back in 1959. Three decades later,
it was also Gobrecht who indirectly influenced Larry’s decision to get involved
as an alumnus, after years of being out of touch.
Larry made that pivotal trip back to campus in 1992 to
attend a retirement ceremony in honor of his former coach. While in town, he
checked out an alumni football game. “As I was walking down Biddle Field, two
gentlemen standing on the sidelines turned around and saw me and said in unison,
‘Hello, Larry!’” he recalls. “It was Ben James [‘34] and Coach [Donald] Seibert,
and neither of them had seen me in 25 years. But they remembered me and made me
feel at home.”
That sense of belonging brought Larry back the next year,
and the next—the year he reconnected with Anne—and he quickly became a familiar
face at Dickinson home games.
“Getting involved has been like coming home, and it’s an
experience I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” he says, to which Anne adds: “Some
of our best Dickinson friends are people we didn’t know well in school—but our
common background brings us together. It’s incredible to see that happen over
and over again.”