Aaron Schnoor arrived at Campbell University in 2017 with the mindset that he was going to venture outside of his comfort zone and try new things.
That mindset led him to the Campbell Times student newspaper, despite his lack of confidence when it came to interviewing others. The Campbell Times led to his first assignment covering a Student Government Association meeting. That meeting piqued Schnoor’s interest in student government and the idea that he could advocate on behalf of his classmates.
Schnoor later entered student politics. He was elected class president his freshman and sophomore years, vice president of the SGA as a junior and became SGA president as a senior. He’ll graduate this week with invaluable leadership experience and an impressive collegiate resume.
All of this because four years ago, Schnoor stepped out of his comfort zone and put himself out there.
“I realized very early on at Campbell that there are so many opportunities at this school,” said Schnoor. “I wanted to embrace those opportunities and try new things. I was homeschooled in high school, and I realized that I might have missed out on a few activities and opportunities, so I just wanted to try everything that came my way. If you put yourself out there, some of those new things will stick, and some won’t. And that’s OK.”
Schnoor’s tenure as student body president began in February 2020. Two weeks later, Campbell students were sent home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His initial reaction was frustration — he’d worked hard to get to that point, and he felt like there would be little need for the SGA when nobody was on campus.
“I admit, I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t have a normal experience as president,” Schnoor said. “We had events planned that weren’t going to happen, and we weren’t going to be able to meet regularly.”
To his surprise, the pandemic actually made his role more important. Schnoor and his peers were called upon to attend task force meetings and other meetings that dealt with the health and safety of students, and their voices were heard.
“They asked us for our advice every step of the way,” Schnoor said. “From returning to campus to having in-person graduations — I think they really listened to what we had to say and took our advice to heart. I think in this past year, the SGA was able to do more with the Campbell administration and take on more of a leadership role than in years past. It was a blessing for me to be a part of that.”
In addition to his work in student government and with the student newspaper, Schnoor was active within the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business, where he placed first this spring (along with Carolina Inman) in the national Templeton Business Ethics Case Competition. He was also named Outstanding Economics Senior by the school at the annual Senior Awards Banquet.
After graduation, he’ll begin work as a fiduciary administrator for Wells Fargo’s philanthropic division, for private foundations and for charitable trusts. He said his experience at Campbell has prepared him for the next step, and he’s excited about the chance to give back to the University that allowed him to discover himself.
“It can’t be stressed enough how strong and how beneficial the Campbell community is,” Schnoor said. “I didn’t know what to expect in college, and I found that Campbell is about connections — faculty and alumni who are willing to help you, guide you and provide mentorship to you along the way. I’ve had many great mentors during my time here, and as an alumnus, I look forward to giving back to future students.”