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Snow family bequest supports Carolina’s libraries, athletics and the School of Information and Library Science

UNC-Chapel Hill alumni Claude and Sarah Snow have made a $2.6 million planned gift to the Campaign for Carolina.

The Bell Tower on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
(Photo by Jeyhoun Allebaugh/UNC-Chapel Hill).

For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina is the fifth fundraising campaign Claude Henry Snow Jr. and Sarah Turnbull Snow have contributed to in support of their alma mater — this time, in the form of a bequest.

“We’ve given as we are able through all four previous campaigns, and now this one,” Claude said. “In one sense, that should probably demonstrate our love for Carolina, and it also shows we’re experienced givers.”

The Snows love Carolina — so much that they moved from Atlanta, Georgia, to Chapel Hill to be closer to their alma mater, reinforcing their commitment to the University they hold dear. In addition to supporting five consecutive fundraising campaigns, the Snows have served on more than a dozen University boards and committees over the years.

“We were coming here four to five times a year, not counting football and basketball,” Sarah said. “We kind of laughed and said, ‘Why are we doing this? Let’s just move to Chapel Hill.’ And here we are.”

Twenty years later, they’re still here in Chapel Hill, supporting Carolina.

Claude and Sarah Snow.

Sarah and Claude Snow

Widespread funding

The Snows’ planned gift, totaling more than $2.6 million, is allocated to three entities on campus: University Libraries, the UNC School of Information and Library Science, and the Rams Club.

The Snows have given to the libraries in all five campaigns. Their most recent planned gift supports the Southern Historical Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library. Claude was a work-study student for the libraries in this collection throughout his four years as an undergraduate studying history at Carolina.

“The library touches the entire campus, and it impacts both undergraduate and graduate students,” Sarah said. “You cannot be a student at Carolina and not, at some point, have an interaction with the library.”

Their gift to University Libraries allows for much flexibility for future leaders, highlighting the Snows’ trust in Carolina.

The Snows’ gift to SILS supports the undergraduate curriculum and was made in memory of William S. “Bill” Powell and his wife, Virginia, both mastersin library sciencegraduates of SILS. The late Bill Powell was a mentor of Claude’s, directing part of his undergraduate honors curriculum as well as his master’s thesis. Virginia has been a close friend of the Snows for decades.

The gift to SILS also reflects Sarah’s personal experience as a student in the graduate program. After moving to Chapel Hill, she was looking to do consultant work and wanted to stay relevant in her field. SILS was the best match for her skillset.

“I was, truly, a non-traditional student,” she said. “I was the oldest student walking the halls in Manning and I knew that. I had a great experience.”

The Snows feel strongly about the importance of supporting athletics, even though they weren’t, technically, student-athletes themselves — Claude played club rugby, and Sarah proudly wears the moniker of “the token nerd” on the Rams Club Advisory Board.

“We very much believe in Carolina’s athletic approach — especially under Bubba Cunningham’s leadership,” Claude said. “We’re pleased with the direction UNC Athletics has taken, teaching teamwork and emphasizing academics.”

Their gift to the Rams Club is intended to support women’s Olympic sports.

“People forget that there are athletes on our campus — notably female athletes — who don’t necessarily go on to play professional sports,” Sarah said. “Their athletic ability allows them to have an almost debt-free college experience, and we believe in supporting that kind of initiative.”

Lifelong learners

The Snows recognize the importance of supporting Carolina, in part, because of how their liberal arts education and graduate student experience have positively impacted their lives and careers. Sarah and Claude both started their careers in network computing and communications.

“Having a background in liberal arts gave us the ability to constantly learn and to continually want to learn,” said Sarah, whose work in the technology field required constant effort to keep up or risk being obsolete.

Ultimately, Claude took a different path when he joined Deloitte & Touche. He said his graduate studies helped him become a successful management consultant.

“Across my life, it’s made me a better strategist and operations analyst,” he said. “I was going into troubled companies, re-strategizing particular areas and creating new operating models. I was almost always successful, and I credit that to really honing my analytic and strategic thinking skills while in graduate school.”

Nowadays, when the Snows aren’t volunteering as board members or serving on committees, they spend their time reading, traveling and playing with their three grandchildren.

“While we are blessed, the idea of a planned gift appealed to us,” said Sarah. “We can delay the monetary outlay until we are no longer around, and our bequest will benefit others going forward.”

“Carolina has a special meaning to us because we believe in many of the things the University has come to stand for and the good works that it does,” added Claude.

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