Campus News

Retrospective exhibit showcases Darl Snyder’s 23-year career

A retrospective exhibit about the career of Darl Snyder, including the 23 years he spent affiliated with UGA before his retirement as its first director of international ­development, is on display at the UGA main library through Feb. 23.

The exhibit focuses on Snyder’s involvement in offering university assistance to other countries, chiefly in Africa and Latin America. The centerpiece of the exhibit will be in the gallery of the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library; a smaller display will be on view in the main library lobby display cases.

Snyder and his wife, Florence, have given their professional papers and memorabilia to the University Archives of the Libraries.

“This collection is rich in fascinating handcrafted mementos and artifacts given to Dr. Snyder in recognition of his worldwide contributions to agricultural ­development,” says Steven Brown, university archivist. “The ­approach of the annual Darl Snyder lecture makes this an ideal time to share his collection with the community.”

The Snyder Lecture, sponsored by the African Studies Institute, is scheduled this year for March 1 and will feature speaker Kate Winskell of the “Scenarios from Africa” project. The lecture series was established in 1992 in honor of Snyder, who had been instrumental in the establishment of African studies at UGA.

Snyder began work at UGA’s Rural Development Center in Tifton in 1969 and became director in July 1972. In 1975, Snyder was named director of international programs in agriculture at UGA’s main campus in Athens. He was appointed director of international development in 1977 and was named associate vice president for public service and outreach in 1989. Snyder retired in 1992. Since then, the Snyders have remained involved with the African Studies Institute.

A bounty of photographs enliven the exhibit and present documentation of agricultural conditions and rural life, chiefly in the African nation of Burkina Faso and the state of Pernambuco in Brazil. Photos show markets, ceremonies, home life, and agricultural development projects, as well as local landmarks and landscape.

Snyder was awarded two medals customarily given only to the residents of those two countries. In 1989 he was awarded Burkina Faso’s Medal of Merit, the first non-Burkinabe to be so honored, for his efforts at training the citizens in improved methods of food production.

In recognition of his assistance in establishing a master’s degree program in plant protection at the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (Brazil), Snyder was presented with the Dom Pedro Rosser Mehalha de Merito, normally reserved for Brazilians.

“The collection is certainly a unique part of the university archive and vividly illustrates the adventure in Dr. Snyder’s career,” Brown says. “He is certainly someone who never worries about trying something new, which undoubtedly is one of the keys to successful international development work.”