Snead State Community College launched a year-long celebration of its 125th anniversary with a Founders Day Festival and Pageant on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Snead State Community College President Dr. Joe Whitmore shared the College’s history with those gathered on the lawn behind the Story Administration Building.
“The reason we want to celebrate Founders Day is because of our anniversary celebration. We were founded in 1898 originally as a Methodist seminary. The Elders came to Sand Mountain to establish an education institution as missionaries for the Methodist church, and they settled right here in Boaz to do that. A businessman named John Snead…sold them the land for the school to be built, and he later forgave the debt. It is in his honor that we are called Snead State Community College,” said Dr. Whitmore.
As the 12th president of Snead State Community College, Dr. Whitmore recognized many contributors to the success of the College, including Dr. William Fielder, the Elder family, the Pfeiffer family, and Dr. Conway Boatman.
“These names are all very familiar when you walk around campus when you look at the names of our buildings and our auditoriums. That’s why we’re celebrating. If it wasn’t for these people, who invested their money, their time and their love of education into Sand Mountain 125 years ago, then we wouldn’t have the freedom and the opportunity to be on this campus here today,” said Dr. Whitmore.
The Founders Day activities began Saturday morning with the Founders Day Pageant. The College had 17 students to compete in two divisions — a Snead State division and a high school division. Prizes, including scholarships to Snead State, were given to the winners and first runners-up in each division.
For the Snead State division, the first runner-up was Emmy Glover of Cullman, and the winner and 2022 Miss Founders Day was Julie Ramirez of Albertville. For the high school division, the first runner-up was Victoria Wester, and the winner of the Miss Founders Day – High School was Kylee Gilbert of Fort Payne. The winners were crowned by Snead State First Lady Janet Whitmore.
“I want to thank everybody that was a part of the pageant and also to the committee for setting this up. It was amazing. I was to thank Snead for the great opportunities that they give us,” said Miss Ramirez.
The Founders Day Festival began after the pageant and kicked off with performances by the Snead State Fine Arts Department, including the Jazz Band, under the direction of Mike McGee, and the College Street Singers, led by the new Director Gina Garmon. Other entertainers throughout the day included Brandon Elder, Nick Longshore and Country Case.
The festival was highlighted by a new campaign the College is hosting as a fundraiser and nod to its heritage. The campaign is called “Bring Back the Pines”.
“The first line of our alma mater talks about the whispering pines on our campus. Where the old gymnasium used to be and the Student Union Building, there used to be a pine thicket. Through the years, because of weather or new construction and other things, the pines in that thicket dwindled away until they were gone. If you look back through the heritage of Snead State Community College, when they used to print the yearbooks, the yearbook was called The Pines. Newsletters and student newspapers were called The Pines. We felt it was appropriate to take this opportunity on Founders Day to return the pines to their original site,” said Dr. Whitmore.
During the Festival, the College planted four pines. Over the coming years, alumni will have the opportunity to purchase pine trees to help return the trademark thicket back to the campus.
“We appreciate everyone who came to Founders Day. We appreciate them for recognizing the importance of Snead State and what it means to all of us,” Dr. Whitmore said.