Gary D. Glenn

Professor Emeritus, Political Science
1966 – 2007

Dr. Gary D. GlennDr. Gary Glenn was nominated by ten colleagues, all who have been chairs of the NIU Political Science department. They remark, “Professor Glenn has been one of the College’s most distinguished, dedicated, productive, and accomplished teachers.”

Dr. Glenn began his career at NIU in 1966 and retired as a Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2007. His career reflects many contributions in teaching; advising; scholarship; and professional service.

Of Dr. Glenn’s teaching, NIU Professor Emeritus Daniel Kempton, says, “I have discovered that Gary isn’t just a great teacher; he is a mentor with an ability to change lives. His students regularly noted transformative experiences such as ‘he taught me to think critically’ and ‘[he] helped me understand how to evaluate what is true and what is spurious,’ or simply ‘[he] helped me think about what it is to be moral’…[w]ith Gary, every class, irrespective of content, is an experience in learning to think.”

For more than four decades, while earning every teaching award NIU offers, Dr. Glenn also spent countless hours advising students and working on their behalf. He established the Political Science/Pre-Law Residence Hall Floor and founded the Undergraduate Political Science Student Association. In the broader university context, he also contributed to NIU students’ welfare. For several years, he served on the University Athletic Board, the University Judicial Board, the University Honors Program, and was an NIU sponsor for the H. B. Earhart Foundation.

Dr. Glenn has published numerous articles and book chapters of particular importance in American political thought; ancient political thought; and religion and politics. He gained national recognition as a political philosopher publishing over fifty studies, delivering eighty invited lectures to national and local audiences, and participating as an invitee in twenty-eight national professional development conferences.

In 2007, Dr. Glenn was invited to be an Academic Partner with the Bill of Rights Institute in Virginia where he currently provides workshops for teachers. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Glenn to the National Council for the Humanities, which advises the National Endowment for the Humanities on policy and awards for support of teaching, preservation, and research. Of this award, Dr. Glenn’s nominators believe it is “an enduring testimony to the value of [his] lifetime of contribution to the furtherance of the liberal arts in contemporary life and culture.”

Even in retirement, Dr. Glenn continues to uphold and support the ideals of liberal education, teaching in the NIU Life Long Learning Institute and contributing to his discipline and the University.