New Scholarship a Trent Family Affair 

Beloved retired University staff member left speechless when daughter and son-in-law – both Trent alum - establish scholarship in her honour 

January 26, 2024

Mary Snack and her daughter and son-in-law

A new scholarship for Trent University Business students was a heartfelt holiday gift to a beloved retired staff member. Mary Snack, an 89-year-old former Trent administrative assistant, was ‘speechless’ over the holidays when her family told her they had established the Mary Snack Scholarship in her honour. 

“Mary worked at Trent for many years and enjoyed her time immensely,” says her son-in-law Kevan Herod ’74 (Otonabee College). “She graduated from high school at the top of her class and even though she didn’t have the chance to go to university, Trent would have been the perfect environment for her. This scholarship will reward students like Mary – intelligent, hard-working, and dedicated.” 

Mary joined Trent in 1974 as what was then known as a departmental secretary (now administrative assistant) for Sociology and later for Mathematics. At that time, departmental secretaries often worked for faculty in several disciplines, and, over the years, she worked with faculty in English, Politics, Spanish, Native Studies (as it was then called), and History. 

Thanks to her detail-oriented work, sharp mind, and devotion to the University, Mary developed a strong relationship with many faculty, staff, and students.  

After retiring in 1991, Mary says she looks back on her career at Trent fondly.  

“When I look back, I feel that I worked at Trent during the best years, but I also know that times change and Trent has grown into the world class institution I could never have imagined during the time I worked there,” she says. “Since I retired it has been a pleasure for me to be able to support Trent financially in a relatively small way rather than by “the sweat of my brow”.  The gift of the Mary Snack Scholarship from my daughter Roberta and her husband Kevan is something that I could never have imagined, and I only hope that its recipients receive as much from Trent as I did.” 

Trent connections run deep in the family. Mary remains an active and enthusiastic member of the Trent University Association for Retired Persons. Her daughter Roberta Herod also attended Trent and her granddaughter Jennifer Walsh Hopkins ’06 (Champlain College) currently works as academic advisor for Gzowski College. Jennifer’s husband is Adam Hopkins ’03 (Otonabee College) - the former director of the First Peoples House of Learning.  

Are you interested in creating a scholarship or bursary at Trent? Email momentous@trentu.ca for more information.