In Memoriam: Cecil Evans Glenn, December18, 1938 – December 18, 2019
Taken from a biographical sketch written by Dr. Donna Martinez, who served as Ethnic Studies director (2002-2017) following Dr. Glenn (1988-2000).
Dr. Cecil Glenn was born in 1938 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was a boxer in high school and was the middleweight champion of the South in 1957. Dr. Glenn completed his B.A. at Tennessee A&I State University in Nashville in 1962 in Education with a certification in secondary education. He met his beautiful wife Lucille when they were in the same college class in Nashville. Dr. Glenn taught social sciences and math at high schools in Chicago before coming to Denver. His M.A. was awarded in 1970 from Northeastern Illinois State College where he studied Inner City and Urban Studies, he also completed graduate studies course work in Sociology at the University of Denver.
Dr. Glenn came to CU Denver in 1972. His Ed.D. was awarded in 1976 from the University of Colorado with his dissertation titled “Self-Concept of Black University Students: The University of Colorado Denver.” Dr. Glenn created the foundation of diversity offices on the University of Colorado Denver campus. He was recruited as the assistant director of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), and became the EOP director a few years later in 1976. The Ethnic Studies courses that Dr. Glenn offered were so popular that he added many more to the curriculum by the mid-1970s. When Ethnic Studies was awarded a four-year grant by the Department of Education to start a program at CU Denver, Dr. Glenn served as the founding director. He also continued to serve as the EOP director until 1988, when he began serving full-time as the Ethnic Studies director.
Dr. Glenn was an academic role model to his students through his membership in national organizations including the Society of Black Engineering and Science, Blacks in Criminal Justice, and Phi Delta Kappa. He met with public figures in Denver such as Dick Gregory, Stokley Carmichael, H. Rap Brown, Nikki Giovanni, Ruby Dee, Maya Angelou, Billy Mills, Ralph Nader, Ron Brown, and President Jimmy Carter. He visited President John F. Kennedy at the White House. Dr. Glenn was also a leader in the Denver community. He served on the board of the Denver Archdiocese, the Denver Urban League, the Colorado Minorities in Engineering Association, the Mayors Mental Health Advisory Committee, the board of the Greater Park Hill Community, and the Stapleton Master Plan committee.
Dr. Glenn always placed a high priority on supporting the educational dreams of Ethnic Studies students. When he couldn’t get money from the university to take the students to conferences, he used his own funds to take them to the University of California Berkeley, University of California Los Angeles, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, and University of Washington in Seattle. After retiring in 2000, he started the Dr. Cecil Glenn scholarship to help Ethnic Studies students with the prohibitive cost of textbooks. Dr. Glenn awarded ten $300 scholarships every year at the annual Ethnic Studies Open House, where he reminded students that, “Others might say that they like you… but I really love you.”, which made the audience laugh every year and endeared him to a new generation of Ethnic Studies students.
Dr. Glenn’s support of Ethnic Studies never wavered, and his legacy at CU Denver is being made a permanent part of campus history with the Dr. Cecil Glenn Endowed Scholarship.
How to donate:
Checks can be made out to University of Colorado Foundation (include on the memo line of the check “gift is intended for the Cecil Glenn Scholarship, allocation number 0350160”) and mailed to
ATTN: Ali Fernandez, University of Colorado Denver, Office of Advancement, 1380 Lawrence St. , Suite 1201, Denver, CO 80204.
Go to the website.
If you would like to make recurring gifts (also an option on the giving.cu.edu link), you can do so through payroll deduction. Here is the link to the relevant form: https://giving.cu.edu/payroll-deduction-form