Violet Meek and Jon Rockhold present award to John Snyder (right)

The community and campus that he served turned out to honor Ohio State Lima’s former dean and director, Dr. John R. Snyder, when he received the 2024 Violet I. Meek Town and Gown Award in May. As is typical of his approach to volunteerism and service, Dr. Snyder focused the spotlight on the organizations and people he worked with to build a better future in west central Ohio and beyond. 

“I am humbled and honored by this award. There is a bit of a gap, though. You can't be a Town and Gown award winner without people from the community working with you,” he said. “This award, at least in part, should be owned by many of you here – the Chamber, Activate Allen County, Mercy-St. Rita's, West Ohio Food Bank and the Board of Developmental Disabilities.”  

The Violet I. Meek Town and Gown Award honorees personify the idea of Disciplina in civitatem, or education for citizenship, the motto of The Ohio State University. Snyder is the eighteenth recipient. The award is named for Violet I. Meek, who retired as dean and director in 2003 after 12 years in the position at Ohio State Lima. 

During her tenure, Meek was an ardent supporter and promoter of community growth and increased interaction between the university and the people and communities in its service area. When it came time for her to retire, Meek wanted the best for the campus that had become home to her. She and Dr. Snyder had met through earlier roles with the university long before either became dean and she remembered being impressed then and delighted when he was tapped as the next dean. 

“When I heard that John would be coming to Lima, I relaxed, because I knew that this place I had come to love would be in good hands,” she said.  

Snyder built on the legacy of service he inherited. He set the bar high by following his personal mantra of “I am happy to serve because I learn during that process,” and encouraged the campus to reach out and serve the community, both locally and globally.

“We are in the business of growing on this campus and I think we always have been – growing people, growing careers, growing students. That has not changed over time,” he said. “Opportunities exist in the community, opportunities exist internationally and elsewhere to be involved and to demonstrate that link between teaching, service and research.” 


Biography of John R. Snyder 

Dr. John R. Snyder is a former dean of The Ohio State University at Lima (2003-2013) and a professor emeritus in the Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University. 

Dr. Snyder’s research and publications have focused on laboratory management and allied health education. He has authored or co-authored more than 75 journal articles and 38 book chapters. He is perhaps best known for his editing of a three-edition textbook, Management in Laboratory Medicine.

He has served on the national boards of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, and the Clinical Laboratory Management Association.

Beyond the laboratory, Dr. Snyder served as a trustee for Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, including two years as board chair. He was also on the boards of the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Allen Economic Development Group, and Allen County Chamber of Commerce Foundation. He was the lead evaluator for a CDC-funded grant, Partnerships to Improve Community Health, and served as the executive director for the community health coalition Activate Allen County.

Through the course of his career, Dr. Snyder has served in a variety of international activities, including a fellow for Project HOPE in Haiti, an external evaluator for medical technology at Kuwait University, and a curriculum consultant to the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia. He was also a training consultant in Zambia, Ethiopia, and South Africa to improve clinical laboratory services as part of the President’s Plan for AIDS Relief under the auspices of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. 

Agape Anderson and Violet Meek
Violet I. Meek Student Leadership Award
Rising senior Agape Anderson (left) is the 2024 winner of the Violet I. Meek Student Leadership Award. Anderson is a biology/pre-med major active in a variety of clubs, peer-to-peer mentoring and undergraduate research on campus.

Past winners of the Violet I. Meek Town and Gown Award

David S. Adams, associate professor emeritus of sociology

Tom Francis, a popular media personality in Lima whose activities centered around his commitment to the university and the community

Clyde Rauch, the former president of Tuttle Services who worked diligently with Ohio State Lima and its co-located institution

Bob Schulte, former co-owner and executive president of Spherion of Lima, Inc., and past campaign co-chair for Ohio State Lima’s comprehensive campaign

William V. Ackerman, associate professor emeritus of geography

Jaye E. McCain, a financial advisor for Edward Jones and Associates, past campaign co-chair for Ohio State Lima’s comprehensive campaign and past board chair

Dr. Jon E. Rockhold, a former special assistant to the dean and director with a strong record of outstanding professional leadership in the community

Ora “Bud” Winzenried, past president of Kenton Structural and Ornamental Iron Works and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Ohio State Alumni Association

Mayor David J. Berger, former mayor of the City of Lima who helped form the Joint Higher Education Task Force, which aimed to retain an Ohio State presence in Lima in the form of a four-year university

William D. Angel, associate professor emeritus of political science

Joyce Tracy, adult educator at Apollo Career Center and workforce development and education advocate

William J. Sullivan, associate professor emeritus of English at Ohio State and longtime supporter of the arts in Lima and Allen County

George Brooks, former Market President of Northern Ohio at First Financial Bank, Van Wert, and a longtime supporter of the Ohio State Lima campus

Roger Nimps, former assistant dean and lecturer in history

Martha “Martie” MacDonell, philanthropist and patron of the arts

William “Bill” Timmermeister, philanthropist and business owner 

Karen Grothouse, local business and community leader, advisory board member, and Ohio State Lima alumna