Mercer Memories: Anthony Snipes, CLA ‘92
Anthony Snipes is the city manager of Missouri City, Texas. In April, he was elected national president of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. Originally from Americus, Snipes said he was attracted to Mercer University because of its breadth of diverse programs and its intimate, cultivating and student-focused culture. Snipes holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from Mercer. He also has a master’s degree in public administration from Florida State University.
Here are five things to know about Snipes:
1. Public service is his passion.
“My career has afforded me the opportunity to partner with professionals across the country whose mission is to improve the quality of life for others. In Missouri City, I partner with 371 full-time employees every day, and we work together to manage a combined annual budget of more than $139 million, overseeing 14 departments that include public safety, financial services, economic development, public works, innovation and technology, and parks and recreation,” he said. “Our credo is, ‘Together, we excel!,’ and we showcase that doctrine in all of our initiatives to ensure we provide exemplary customer service to our citizens.”
After his tenure as a public servant is complete, Snipes said he may pursue opportunities as a consultant or university professor.
2. His favorite memory at Mercer is historic.
Snipes is tempted to say his favorite memory at Mercer is winning the Panhellenic Cup with his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, but another moment claims the top spot. In 1991, Snipes and Patrick Lee were the first two black students elected to hold the offices of president and vice president of the Student Government Association at the same time. Snipes served as vice president, and Lee was president.
3. Mercer prepared him for success personally and professionally.
“My Mercer experience equipped me with a range of competencies, including effective communication, critical thinking, writing and leadership. Just as important as those skills, Mercer exposed this ‘preacher’s kid’ to an even deeper understanding of religion, cultures and the true diversity and richness of all groups and organizations,” he said. “In my role as city manager, all of this expertise prepared me for continued success.”
4. Mentorship got him to where he is today.
“During my first year of graduate school at Florida State University, I was offered a graduate internship in the city manager’s office in Tallahassee, Florida. At that time, I was introduced to then-city manager Anita R. Favors, who exposed me to the importance of public service, particularly at the local level,” Snipes said. “Through her mentorship, I truly was able to see that there are few professions like ours that touch the day-to-day lives of people. Whether it’s the water we drink, the parks our kids play in, the roads that we drive on or the public safety provided by first responders, public servants touch and impact lives on a daily basis.
“As a child in Americus, Georgia, my mom and dad instilled in me key values like treating people with dignity and respect as well as the significance of earning an education. As a child, I always thought the only way that I could truly impact my community was through a law career, but eventually found out through Ms. Favors’ mentorship that our contributions as public administrators last for a lifetime.”
5. He is paying it forward.
“The one thing that I hold dearly is my mentorship of the next generation of public servants; we must pay it forward,” Snipes said. “My message to them daily is that we must continue to exemplify excellence in leadership through our leadership style, personal knowledge, selfless devotion to the betterment of the community and passion for developing future leaders. We must do this all while maintaining a humility that makes us approachable and relatable to others.”