Dr. Glenda Glover grew up in the southern part of Memphis which was “rural” in the era of the sixties. Her family
and neighbors had neither running water nor sewage. The family lived in a two room house, not a two bedroom house. What the family lacked in middle class amenities at the time, they made up for in love, conviction and proactive leadership. Glenda’s parents were not formally educated as she is, but her father was a fierce political leader in the Civil Rights movement in Memphis.
One of the worst days of her Dad’s life is when he and Glenda watched one of their good friend’s house burn to the ground because the fire department from the “city” right across from where they lived, wouldn’t dispatch the firefighters who could have saved the house. Glenda’s Dad led a March on the city the very next day. Her neighborhood received fire protection and sewer services. He was a major force for good, understanding how much politics and policy play a role in change. As a result, Glenda grew up with the knowledge of this power as she had living examples of the relationship between politics and education- a straight line. Glenda was First Gen to college, but her parents were self-educated in life and hard learned lessons. “My parents mandate to me was: you must go to college,” Glenda shared. Her parents were not afraid to set high expectations which she fearlessly delivered.
For college, Glenda went to Tennessee State University where she has been the President since 2013. "There is no greater honor in my life than to lead the university that gave me my start, and serve the students who have so much in common with me.” TSU is one of the HBCUs and has a long history of academic excellence that was made even stronger through Glenda’s leadership.
Dr. Glover has many degrees- from her undergraduate in math, to her MBA, her CPA, her PhD and JD from Georgetown Law. “I got these degrees because I wanted to influence others and I wanted to make a difference, especially in academia and corporate America. My Dad was a servant leader, giving out Christmas baskets to the poor and meeting the needs of our community on so many fronts. I wanted to do the same. This has allowed me, in many instances, to obtain a seat at the table. You can’t make change happen if you are not at the table."
Glenda sees these four critical phases of African American history in the United States:
- Being viable economic participants and leaders in this economy
Dr. Glover is a living example of living and now leading with economic mobility as she generously opens doors for others. She was a professor, a business school dean at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi where she led one of the nation’s first PhD programs in Business at an HBCU. She is a CPA and an attorney and one of only two or three women to hold the PhD-CPA-JD combination in the nation.
Prior to Jackson State, Glenda was an accounting professor at Howard, Senior Vice President and CFO for an engineering firm, a tax manager for a public utility company and an accountant with a Big-Four CPA firm. She has long been married to Charles Glover and they have two grown children. She loves serving as International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, an organization of 300,000 college educated Black women world-wide and is the sorority of Vice President, Kamala Harris.
Glenda also understands the power of networks to mobilize change. As a proud member of SistersUnited4Reform, 13 organizations made up of and led by black women. “By organizing various groups, we can make major impact in outcomes,” says Glenda. If you want to see a better economic world, you have to be an activist.
Thank you for walking your walk, Dr. Glover. You are the epitome of an inclusive, brave leader and a role model for all.