2007 Volunteer of the Year

Dr. Robert L. Snyder

Dr. Robert L. Snyder 1956
College of Science

"This award recognizes Bob's dedication and service to the RIT community; including his impact on student success and his demonstration of outstanding leadership skills. This award not only honors Bob for his successes, but also expresses our appreciation for his support of the Institute."


With a degree in chemistry from RIT (1956) and a Ph.D. in metallurgy from Iowa State University (1960), Bob began his post-college career as a research engineer for Ford Motor Company, followed by a stint as a research scientist for American Standard Inc. After only six years in industry, he joined the RIT faculty in 1967, just before RIT moved from downtown Rochester to the Henrietta campus. In 2001, after 34 years with the mechanical engineering department, Bob retired from RIT.

Over the years, Bob influenced hundreds of students and earned many accolades from students and peers alike: the Eisenhart Outstanding Teaching Award, 1979; the Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Science, 1983; the Materials Engineering Institute of ASM International (formerly the American Society for Metals) Distinguished Educator, 2000. Now as professor emeritus, Bob maintains strong ties with RIT, serving on the Alumni Network Board of Directors and volunteering for the Rochester Alumni Chapter.

In 1991, he and his wife Norma became charter members of the Nathaniel Rochester Society, and together they have established two generous scholarships for deserving undergraduate students. Last year Bob was a Reunion Volunteer, ensuring that the class of 1956 enjoyed a successful gathering at Brick City Homecoming, and he currently serves on the Membership Committee of the Alumni Network Board of Directors, acting as the committee's "gentle voice of reason."

Beyond the RIT campus, his heart and hands work for the good of others through Habitat for Humanity and at the Ronald McDonald House where he's affectionately known as "Mr. Fixit."