Philadelphia Flyers founder and Comcast-Spectacor chairman Ed Snider ’55 died April 11, 2016, following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 83. Gifts and other support from his foundation enabled the University of Maryland to launch the Ed Snider Center for Enterprise and Markets at the Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2014.
“From him we learned the importance of helping others and the value of supporting our community and beyond,” his children said in a prepared statement. “He was a man with deep convictions and never hesitated to promote causes in which he believed.”
During Snider’s most recent campus visit, he delivered the keynote address Sept. 29, 2015, at the BB&T Colloquium on Capitalism, Ethics and Leadership at the Smith School. During that event, he talked about the value that business leaders create by bringing people together to collaborate and grow the economy. “They should be held in high esteem,” Snider said. “I’m hoping a center like ours will show young people and other interested parties how wonderful business is.”
Snider Center director Rajshree Agarwal, the Rudolph P. Lamone Chair and Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Smith School, said Snider believed deeply in the center’s mission to promote a multidisciplinary exploration of the institutions that affect human enterprise, thereby impacting the prosperity and wellbeing of individuals and societies. “Ed Snider was the one encounter in my life that can never be repeated,” Agarwal said. “We, here in the Ed Snider Center and at the university, will carry on his legacy. His words, deeds and memories will remain our guiding light.”
After earning an accounting degree and passing the CPA exam, Snider worked one week as an accountant. He and his partner then started their own record distribution business from the back of Snider’s car. During that period, he co-founded the National Association of Record Merchandisers, which exists to this day.
In 1966, Snider risked his future by mortgaging his home and founding the Flyers. The success of the franchise spawned a variety of media and entertainment companies that operate across the United States and internationally. Snider also launched the Ed Snider Youth Foundation, which provides children from urban neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Camden, N.J., with opportunities to learn and play hockey.
Smith Business, the school’s alumni magazine, highlighted Snider’s career in the fall 2011 issue.
“Ed Snider was a sports business legend in Philadelphia,” Smith School dean Alex Triantis said. “But he also was a champion of education in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Already his center has provided support for high school students and teachers across the country, as well as undergraduate and graduate students on campus.”
Snider’s engagement with the university is one reason he received the Distinguished University Alumnus Award in 2012. “With his accomplishments in so many areas, especially the creation of regional sports cable networks, entertainment, sports and philanthropy, Ed Snider served as an excellent role model for the University of Maryland community,” UMD President Wallace Loh said.