A Clarkson Mosaic - page 77

Aero Association.
In March, students formed the Clarkson Aero Association "to promote
investigations and study aeronautics."
Bertrand Snell, Trustee.
Former Republican leader of the House of Representatives,
champion of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and arch-foe of the New Deal and President Roosevelt,
Bertrand Snell served from 1911 until 1958 on Clarkson's Board of Trustees, 35 of those years
as its president. He retired as Board president in 1945, but continued to serve on the Board.
Clarkson awarded him an honorary degree of doctor of science in 1943.
Born in Colton, N.Y., he graduated from Potsdam Normal School, and then from
Amherst in 1894. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Amherst in 1921, and an
honorary Doctor of Science from Clarkson in 1943. He was instrumental in building and
developing the Raquette River Paper Company of Potsdam; he also owned and operated a
sawmill in Canton. He built and developed the Snell Power Company, drawing on power
generated at a hydroelectric plant on the Raquette River at Higley Falls. He served as president
and manager of the Phoenix Cheese Company of New York City from 1917 until 1925.
Active in politics, he served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1915
until 1939, representing the 31st district of New York. For eight years when the Republicans
were in power, he served as chairman of the House Rules Committee, for eight years he was
minority leader of the House while the Democrats were in power, and he was Chairman of the
Republican National Conventions in 1932 and 1936.
He gave $150,000 to the College Endowment and Expansion Campaign for Clarkson to
obtain the former building housing the Potsdam State Crane School, a building now known as
Snell Hall, and then left the College the sum of $100,00 in his will. Earlier, he had given
$40,000 to the College for the completion of the athletic field that now bears his name. He died
on February 2, 1958.
His portrait hanging in the Snell Hall lobby was presented to the College by his widow
on November 11, 1961. Attending the ceremony were Mrs. Snell, and their two daughters, Mrs.
Harold Cheel of Hohokus, N.J., and Mrs. William E. Petersen of Bronxville, N.Y.
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