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Traveling the globe makes students well-rounded

Carol A. Snowden '82 and her husband, Jim, recently established the Carol Austin Snowden ’82 Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship with the help of a matching gift from the John Tom Campbell ’45 Endowed Scholarship Program Fund for the benefit of undergraduate students pursuing a degree in the liberal arts.

By Heather Rodriguez ’08

The road to adulthood can be long and arduous, and sometimes it helps to walk in someone else’s shoes. That’s what makes the Carol Austin Snowden ’82 Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship so important.

“When we travel, we take off our American glasses and put on the glasses of whatever country we’re visiting. People say that travel is the best education, and I do believe that. It gives us new perspectives, which may challenge our preconceived notions and biases. We can read novels and we can see pictures of a cathedral but to stand inside the Vatican or the Taj Mahal is truly awe-inspiring,” Snowden said. “Travel creates a framework that helps us to analyze and possibly rethink our interactions with the rest of the world.”

Snowden, who is a member of the Liberal Arts Development Council, and her husband recently established the scholarship with the help of a matching gift from the John Tom Campbell ’45 Endowed Scholarship Program Fund. Matching gifts can double, triple, or quadruple the amount of a gift by taking advantage of a corporate matching program.

“Donors like Carol and Jim Snowden who utilize matching funds from other sources can create an even greater impact and legacy in their area of focus at the university,” said Larry Walker, senior director of development for Liberal Arts. “Gifts like these will allow our college to achieve our greatest goals and have an impact for generations to come.”

While she didn’t take advantage of a study abroad scholarship as an undergraduate herself, Snowden and her husband have had remarkable travel experiences all over the world. Some destinations include the United Kingdom, Europe, the Mediterranean, Thailand, China, and India, as well as Central America, Mexico, and Canada. She believes that the further you travel, the greater the opportunity for growth.

“I prefer the scholarship(s) be awarded to students traveling outside of North or Central America,” she said. “I want to encourage them to go to a place that’s completely unfamiliar. I think travel builds a sense of accomplishment and confidence in young people. Learning to navigate a foreign country’s transportation system, language, customs, currency, and even food can be life-changing.”

Because Snowden graduated with a degree in journalism, she prefers the scholarship goes to a student pursuing a similar degree track.

“My experience as a journalism student was fabulous. Even then, it was a small program, but I loved every minute of it,” she said. “I wanted to study journalism because I love finding out why something is the way it is and then communicating that.”

Since graduating, Snowden has had a successful career in many facets of the journalism field, from writing, editing and photography to starting various magazines, selling advertising, and creating and managing hundreds of special events. She wants to help other aspiring writers and Liberal Arts majors do the same.

“My husband wanted the scholarship in my name alone even though it is the two of us establishing it,” she said. “He wanted it to be reflective of me, because this will be my legacy.”

It’s a legacy that will allow Aggies to impact the world, and the world to impact Aggies.

“What really lights me up about this, aside from building confidence and bringing history, literature, and architecture to life for students as it did for me, is that travel encourages civil discourse–which is something we desperately need more of these days,” she said.

For more information on how you can impact students and faculty in your preferred area in the College of Liberal Arts, please contact Larry J. Walker II.