I grew up in Pontiac, Illinois, the only child of a furniture salesman and a legal stenographer. As an elementary student impressed by my teachers, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. Along the way, other educators inspired and encouraged me. Now, after thirty-four years as a teacher, I can unequivocally say I made the right choice. At eighty years of age, after over two decades of retirement, I still miss the challenge, excitement and considerable rewards of teaching young people.
Neither of my parents attended college, but they were both determined that I would have that opportunity. In 1958, I graduated from Illinois State Normal University with a teaching degree, and in 1963 was awarded a master's degree, also from Illinois State University, the first of my family to earn either. All five of my children have attended college; my eldest is the first in our family to earn a doctorate. None of these accomplishments would have been possible without dedicated individual effort and the financial assistance of scholarships.
While pursuing a master's degree at Illinois State University, I worked as a graduate assistant, and then faculty assistant, in the Social Studies Department. From 1961 through 1993, I thought social studies classes at Walnut High School in Walnut, Illinois. The junior and senior level courses included American History, American Government, Sociology, Illinois History, Consumer Education, Critical Thinking and Moral Reasoning.
In 1995, I became a member of the Committee of 10 that piloted the consolidation of four area high schools and six grade school districts into Bureau Valley High School in Manlius, Illinois. When the new $12 million high school opened in 1998, it boasted a curriculum more than double the size of the original four high schools combined. For me, the goal was always how best to make available the greatest range of opportunities for students. The three-year journey to, and continued success of, that consolidation is the single most important and influential accomplishment of my professional career.
I retired from teaching in 1993 and for a period of time, continued to operate a photography studio I had owned for twenty years. Recent years have been richly filled with travel, volunteer work, Rotary Activities, historical group membership and the publication of a book on local Illinois history.
Albert Einstein said it best: "A hundred times a day, I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving." This Scholarship is an attempt to acknowledge those labors.
I wish recipients of this Scholarship the very best in their endeavors and charge each of them with the responsibility to enrich the lives of others.
The Robert J. Glaser memorial Scholarship Endowed Fund will provide support toward tuition, room and board, fees and books associated with the recipient's studies. Each candidate must meet the following criteria:
Applications for the 2020-2021 school year are due to the College of Arts and Sciences office in Stevenson Hall Room 141 by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, February 7, 2020.