Baylor University Announces New Chair Created to Study Food Security

Snee Family Chair in Food Security
(Getty Images)
Sept. 16, 2021

Jim and Tammy Snee establish chair to support Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 16, 2021) – Baylor University today announced a $1.5 million gift from Jim and Tammy Snee of Austin, Minnesota, establishing an endowed faculty chair position to lead research efforts addressing food security through the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty (BCHP).

The Jim and Tammy Snee Family Chair in Food Security is the 14th chair established through the Baylor Academic Challenge Initiative in the Give Light Campaign. The Snee Chair will support the Health and Human Flourishing, Leadership and Ethics initiatives within Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan.

Jim Snee serves as chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods, a global branded food company. Tammy is a public health advocate and has been a nurse for more than 20 years, including at the Mayo Clinic.

“We are truly grateful for Jim and Tammy Snee and for their family’s commitment to ending hunger in the world,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “We are grateful that they are entrusting Baylor and the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty to lead this incredibly important and urgent effort to find solutions and best practices to address hunger at home and abroad. We know that this is a cause close to the hearts of the Snee family, and we give thanks that they are entrusting this part of their family’s legacy with Baylor University.”

The Jim and Tammy Snee Family Chair in Food Security, which will receive matching funds through the Baylor Academic Challenge, will provide endowment support for research and will attract a faculty scholar who will be an integral contributor in fostering collaborations, partnerships and academic programming that attract food companies, food justice advocates, nonprofit leaders and other high-impact partners in the effort to end hunger in the United States and around the world.

“The Jim and Tammy Snee Chair in Food Security will provide the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty with a significant recruiting tool to bring faculty scholars who can serve as powerful bridge-builders in our important work,” said Jeremy Everett, executive director of BCHP. “I have gotten to know the Snees and understand their belief that empowering individuals with a foundation of education is the key to developing leaders that will cultivate a food-secure world. Food security is critical to building a more equitable and inclusive world where all children and their families have access to the food they need to flourish. We are grateful for the Snees who have taken on a calling to combat world hunger as a personal area of concern for their family, and we look forward to seeing the impact the Snee Chair will make on our work and in the lives of the individuals, families and communities in the United States and around the globe.”

Founded in 2009 as the Texas Hunger Initiative and renamed in 2019 as Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, the organization works in the areas of research, policy and practice, focusing on the issues of hunger, economic justice, immigration and criminal justice. It has provided technical assistance to each state in the U.S., plays a central role in consulting with policymakers in Washington, D.C., and has field organizers across Texas coordinating Hunger Free Community Coalitions, a research-informed, action-based model for providing scalable solutions to the issues of hunger and poverty.

The Baylor Collaborative’s work is among the strategic initiatives outlined within Illuminate, with Baylor becoming a recognized leader on poverty research and integrating social science with social responsibility.

“It is inspiring to see how members of our Baylor Family – our alumni, our parents and our friends – join together with Baylor University to unite their passions with our mission,” said David Rosselli, vice president for advancement at Baylor. “We are thankful for Jim and Tammy’s passion for supporting higher education and empowering others to help make an impact in our world. We look forward to seeing the impact of this transformational gift in the work of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty and on the families who benefit from their research and programs.”

As chairman of the board, president and CEO of Hormel Foods, Jim Snee has led Hormel Foods’s evolution as a global branded food company and its growing reputation as an award-winning corporate citizen by focusing on the food the company makes and the difference it makes in the world. His career with Hormel Foods spans more than three decades.

Tammy, RN, MSN, has been a nurse for 20 years, including at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in vascular surgery, homecare hospice and primary care.

Established in May 2019 as part of a $100 million gift to the University, made by an anonymous Baylor donor, the Baylor Academic Challenge’s purpose was to incentivize donors to establish endowed funds for strategic academic initiatives and other priorities of the University. The BAC maximized Baylor’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar significant additional gifts from other donors. In particular, the program helped Baylor generate additional funding to sustain and grow teaching and research in key areas by providing perpetual funding for additional outstanding scholar-teachers to campus.

For more information or to support Give Light: The Campaign for Baylor, visit www.baylor.edu/givelight.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT THE BAYLOR ACADEMIC CHALLENGE MATCHING PROGRAM

A significant portion of the $100 million gift created a matching fund to launch the Baylor Academic Challenge, which will maximize Baylor's investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar significant additional gifts from other donors, fueling the University's academic enterprise. The program seeks to increase the number of endowed faculty positions, helping Baylor generate additional funding to sustain and grow teaching and research in key areas. Another portion of the $100 million gift provided the lead investment in the Baylor Basketball Pavilion, a state-of-the-art $105 million facility that will become the new home of the men's and women's basketball teams.

ABOUT THE BAYLOR COLLABORATIVE ON HUNGER AND POVERTY

The Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty is a capacity-building project that develops and implements strategies to end hunger through policy, education, research, community organizing and community development. BCHP works to make the state food secure by ensuring that every individual has access to three healthy meals a day, seven days a week. BCHP convenes federal, state and local government stakeholders with non-profits, faith communities and business leaders to create an efficient system of accountability that increases food security in Texas, the United States, and globally. Along with its office located within the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor, BCHP has offices located in Austin, Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen and San Angelo.

ABOUT HORMEL FOODS – Inspired People. Inspired Food.™

Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a global branded food company with over $9 billion in annual revenue across more than 80 countries worldwide. Its brands include Planters®, SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin's®, Wholly®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus® and more than 30 other beloved brands. The company is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats, was named on the "Global 2000 World's Best Employers" list by Forbes magazine for three years, is one of Fortune magazine's most admired companies, has appeared on Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "The 100 Best Corporate Citizens" list for 12 years, and has received numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts. The company lives by its purpose statement — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ — to bring some of the world's most trusted and iconic brands to tables across the globe. For more information, visit www.hormelfoods.com.

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