Ceremonial Events - Commencement
Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Laws
Few Vermonters have contributed more to the advance of education, business, and government in this state than Barbara W. Snelling. A two-term lieutenant governor and founder and president of an institutional advancement consulting firm, Snelling has been a leader in both the public and private sectors.
Following the 1991 death of her husband, Richard A. Snelling, during his fifth term as governor, Barbara Snelling was elected lieutenant governor in 1993 and 1995. She ran for governor in 1996, but was forced to withdraw due to a life-threatening cerebral hemorrhage. Her recovery and courageous comeback to politics as a Vermont state senator from 1997 to 2002 has served as a source of inspiration and strength throughout the state.
Snelling has been involved in public service all of her life with a particular affinity for public education. She was the first chair of the board of Champlain Valley Union High School and a member of the Shelburne School Board. She also served on the State Board of Education and as president of the Vermont School Board Association. A trustee of Radcliffe College, from which she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, Snelling has received honorary degrees from Norwich University and Middlebury College and was a trustee at Champlain College.
In her professional, life, Snelling provided outstanding leadership to the University of Vermont for eight years as vice president for development and external affairs. She later founded the institutional advancement consulting firm Snelling, Kolb & Kuhnle, Inc., an international company that specialized in helping nonprofit organizations with fundraising and public relations. She is an author of numerous books on fundraising and was a sought after public speaker at professional seminars on the subject.
Snelling was founding chair of the Friends of the Vermont State House, an organization that restored the capital building to its 19th-century grandeur, and was a director of the Chittenden Bank for 26 years and chaired the board for eight years. She also served on the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, and her honors include being named the Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year.