Mountaintop honor for late friend

MILE HI: Scott Aiken ‘83 and Jay Snouffer ‘83 decked out in their Sigma Chi shirts at the top of Mount Massive.

As Jay Snouffer ’83 began the long ascent up Mount Massive in Colorado, memories of fraternity brother Henry Galleher ’85 propelled him ever upward through the thinning air.

Galleher, a Colorado resident and avid runner who loved the outdoors, died in 2019 from colon cancer. Snouffer, of Baltimore, and Scott Aiken ’83, of Pittsburgh, dedicated their August 2021 climb up the 14,429-foot mountain to their friend, and to raise awareness for the Henry Chalfant Galleher Endowed Scholarship Fund at Denison and the importance of colonoscopies.

Snouffer, executive vice president/financial advisor of Ghingher Snouffer Wealth Management of Janney Montgomery Scott, first encountered Galleher in high school, when they played soccer for rival Baltimore schools.

“I was a senior right-side defender, and Henry was a little blond sophomore playing left wing,” Snouffer says — which meant he had to cover Galleher. “It quickly became clear he was so much faster, I ran to the rest of the defense and begged them for help.”

The two reconnected on The Hill, where Galleher joined the Sigma Chi fraternity and eventually selected Snouffer as one of his two big brothers. At Denison, Galleher was a star on the lacrosse team and loved nothing more than setting up teammates for a shot on goal — “totally matching his personality, always doing right by others,” Snouffer says. “Henry was one of the nicest, kindest, and most generous individuals that any of us had ever met. He continued with sports and fitness his entire life, and he was a leader by example for me.”

Snouffer climbed past the streams on Mount Massive, up through forests and above the tree line into lush meadows, filled with wildflowers and a few mountain goats. He thought of Galleher’s passion for the outdoors. The last mile was the most difficult, a slow trudge through the scree gravel and steep rocks. But the reward awaited Snouffer and Aiken at the top.

“It was such a wonderful feeling to get to the summit, a combination of the joy of the accomplishment, along with a smile and tear thinking about Henry,” Snouffer says. “Then a chuckle when I got out our fraternity shirts and Scott and I put them on and unfurled the sign for the scholarship fund. It was the perfect way to remember Henry.”

Published July 2022