The Harding Academy Alumni Association has an annual tradition of recognizing an outstanding graduate who embodies the ideals set forth
in the Harding Academy mission statement: to educate and inspire children to become thoughtful, creative, lifelong learners who are self-disciplined, responsible, caring citizens.
This year’s winner is a living example of being a self-disciplined lifelong learner.
The 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner is 1995 graduate Brandt Snedeker who was chosen for his outstanding accomplishments in athletics, particularly in golf and his philanthropic accomplishments.
Brandt’s love for golf began at a young age after being introduced to the sport by his grandmother, a golf course and restaurant manager. Snedeker’s father, Larry, encouraged him to play a pace that would not hold up the golfers in his wake making his game one of the fastest moving on the courses today.
His ascension to the ranks of professional golfer has been peppered with valuable advice from many along the way. These important figures include everyone from the late Arnold Palmer to Mrs. Rodgers, a former music teacher at Harding Academy. From the legendary Palmer, he learned that “even if you fail at what you are doing- as long as you believed in yourself and did everything you could to succeed, then it was a success. You will fail in life- it’s how you respond to those failures that will define you.” From Mrs. Rodgers his music teacher at Harding Academy he learned the importance of perseverance. He tried playing the clarinet; however, the sounds were not music to everyone's ears. But she supported and encouraged him to continue playing.
Friends and fellow alumni from Harding Academy and Montgomery Bell Academy, where Snedeker graduated in 1999, describe Brandt as fiercely loyal to friends, family and his hometown, Nashville. The Snedeker family was one of the city’s first group of volunteers to step in and offer help when a flood wreaked havoc on many neighborhoods and businesses in 2010. His philanthropic efforts were just beginning. In 2012 he founded the Snedeker Foundation which raises money for various charities around Middle Tennessee. The Snedeker Golf Scholarship at Vanderbilt University help made the men's golf program the university's first fully endowed athletic program .
Brent is still very much active in his community and on the golf course. He recently recorded the 10th sub-60 score in PGA history during the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club.