After his graduation from Amherst College in 1969, Peter Snedecor came to Mount Hermon—not Northfield Mount Hermon—to interview for a teaching position. Although he was offered a job at that time, he turned it down in favor the University School in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio.
Peter worked also at Moses Brown School, followed by Westtown School, and Tatnall School.
It was a long, strange trip, but Peter finally made his way back to NMH in 1994, as director of counseling. Shortly after that, he served a stint as a school dean. And through it all, he has taught math and economics, and coached swimming, water polo, and crew.
Peter has done it all at NMH, and through it all, he has maintained his love of young people and his joy at working with them. I think it is impressive that, in his last year at NMH, he has chosen to work with Diane Arena as a class parent for the seniors.
I could speak about the effect that Peter has had on our students, but I’d rather let them speak in their own words.
Peter has often said that he teaches so that he can coach. The effect that he has had on his swimmers has been deep and profound.
Many of you remember Duncan Spaulding, who graduated last year. Here is what he had to say: Peter Snedecor was, hands down, the single most influential person I got to know at NMH. At the senior class prize assembly I was awarded an athletic blanket. When Sneds handed me mine, he also handed me a water polo ball that had “SPAULDING” written across it. I burst out in tears. It would not be unreasonable for me to say that the most prominent memories of NMH that I have are those from the swimming and water polo team under Peter Snedecor.
Jun Park, class of ’02, had this to say: I can’t think of NMH without thinking about Peter. He was my coach, my teacher, my mentor, and my father at NMH.
And finally, here are a few words from Adam Phillips, class of ’03: It is difficult for me to put into words the effect that Sneds has had. Peter is more than just a coach, he is a mentor and an incredible friend. Peter took it upon himself to make sure I knew what it meant to be responsible for my actions, to live up to my promises, and to truly enjoy life. Peter has greatly impacted my life, and I know that he has done the same for many others.
Congratulations, Peter, on touching the hearts and minds of so many of your students and athletes.