Anne E. (McIntosh) Schneider, Retired Assistant Attorney General

Hometown: Jefferson City

Graduation year: 1985

Sorority: Kappa Alpha Theta

Major: Political Science

What other degrees have you earned and from which educational institutions?

J.D., University of Missouri-Columbia

What is your current career position?

I currently do volunteer work. I am retired a lawyer from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, where I served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Division for more than 28 years. From 2002 to 2016, I served as Antitrust Counsel. My work involved investigating and prosecuting violations of Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act and both state and federal antitrust laws. I handled both civil and criminal prosecutions.

I currently volunteer for Westminster College. I served as President of the Alumni Counsel for two years and as a Trustee of the College for nine years. I currently serve as a Trustee Emeritus. Since 1989, I have been an advisor for the Kappa Alpha Theta Chapter and a member of its Facility Corporation. Over the years, I have served on various task forces focused on Greek Life on campus as well as a search committee for the Dean of Student Life.

I also volunteer for my church, the First Presbyterian Church of Jefferson City, including serving on the Session and various church committees, as Moderator of Presbyterian Women for her congregation and for the Presbyterian Women of Missouri Union Presbytery. I am a board member for Presbyterian Women of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), serving as a representative from Presbyterian Women of the Synod of Mid-America. I also served as the Moderator for Missouri Union Presbytery and continue to serve on several presbytery committees and one of the presbytery’s mission teams. I sing in the church choir and am involved in other activities in my congregation.

In addition, I am a board member of Missouri Faith Voices, a multi-faith advocacy group, and a board member of vice-president of Jefferson City Hands Together, a faith-based payday loan rescue program.  I am a member of the Board of Governors for Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City and a member of the Historic City of Jefferson.

What are your future goals?

I hope to care for my family and make a difference for my community and the work being done by my church and other organizations in which I’m involved.  I also hope to actually finish my family genealogy.

In terms of your professional life, what would you say is your overarching purpose today?

My simple but overarching purpose is to contribute to making things better in whatever organization or other group I’m participating in.

How did your time at Westminster help you find that purpose? Did your liberal arts education allow you to uncover particular passions that you’ve carried into your career?

My experience at Westminster showed me that I could contribute and that my contribution was needed — there is little need for bystanders. Most of us have something we can and should be giving to others.

The leadership opportunities I had in Kappa Alpha Theta and other campus organizations demonstrated that just showing up is sometimes quite powerful, and simply doing the best you can on whatever task you are given is a great contribution. Don’t discount the impact you can have when you just use the talents God gave you.

As a political science major, I always enjoyed learning about issues, especially issues related to justice, discussing them or presenting on them to groups. I also was curious why others might have developed different views, how those views were formed and where different views on issues can intersect.

Because of my interests in research, and my enjoyment of making PowerPoint slides, I have enjoyed presenting programs to church and community groups on various topics as well as planning activities and retreats for Presbyterian Women and planning various worship services.

One passion I have is for identifying and emphasizing commonly held values. I feel there is a growing need for communities to focus more on these values and to work together.  We need to do more to resist the divisive messages coming from political interests who seek exclusively to serve their own interests, and we need to work harder on reuniting our communities in the pursuit of the common good.

Were any relationships you formed at Westminster particularly influential in helping you find clarity of purpose?

My relationships with faculty were certainly influential. Dr. Kim told me to go to law school when I was wondering what direction I should go for a career.  I needed that little “push.” Dr. Langton taught me that gaining competence in any subject are could take hard work. For example, it was okay to have to read some material multiple times in order master its content.

What does being a “leader” mean to you? What did you learn about leadership while at Westminster, and how has that translated into your life since graduation?

Leaders work alongside and within the group.  They are trusted, and they must continually act in a manner that maintains that trustworthiness.  They also respect the members of the group and the contributions of those members, giving credit for the contributions and recognizing the efforts of others.  Leaders understand how necessary the “group” is, and that their own leadership is likely temporary.  Leaders also follow up on commitments and practice humility.  A good leader understands that just because she or he might be the one standing at the podium, they are no more special than any of those who are sitting in the audience.  Leaders need to also be looking for and giving leadership opportunities to future potential leaders.

What does “success” mean to you?

Success means that something “good” has been achieved.  One can claim success by achieving lots of “good” for oneself, but I think the better success is where that “good” is something that is shared by many.  In the business world that might mean the “good” is a successful company that shares its wealth with employees as well as shareholders. In the nonprofit world it probably means progress in accomplishing a charitable purpose. In everyday life it means some betterment for persons other than yourself and often removed from your own self-interest, such as simply the betterment of your own family.

What is it about Westminster that makes it the kind of community that empowers students to discover their purpose and find success?

I love the Westminster purpose statement. I wish it had been coined when I was a student!  Seeking a life of success, service and significance is the sort of enduring value that squares perfectly with the Westminster I know.  Emphasizing the importance of service to others and the importance of legacy that continues to benefit others provides context to the “success” that we all seek. The Westminster community has always celebrated service and recognized the significance in what students and faculty/staff do on and off campus. As a Westminster student, I always felt the College cared about me and was eager to see me succeed, and the celebration of ongoing service and success is a wonderful thing to be able to share with the College as well as former classmates.

Do you recommend Westminster to prospective college students? Why?

Absolutely. If you want to be valued as an individual and to be part of a supportive and caring community, while studying academics directly with professors and other professionals in an atmosphere that will challenge, excite and prepare you for your own career, you will love Westminster, just as thousands of alumni have.

Favorite Westminster faculty member?

Dr. John Langton, of course!  (But others include David Collins and Wayne Zade; actually, I never had a professor I didn’t like.)

Favorite spot on campus?

Reeves Library in the spring when the windows were open and the sun was shining.

Last book you read?

Always with Us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor by Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis.

Favorite movie?

Forrest Gump

Favorite app?

Google Maps. I love to travel and figure out where things are, whether in my own town or on the other side of the world.

Favorite way to spend a Sunday?

With two cups of coffee and reading the news, followed by church and an afternoon of free time to read, research or go for a walk or a drive.

 

 

 

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is a Media and Content Strategist at Westminster College in Fulton, MO. A 1992 graduate of the College, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communication in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.