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Meet the Class of 2011: Hugh Glover

May 23, 2011

Hugh Glover

This is the fifth in a series of profiles of Lehman College 2011 graduates.

Eleven years after he retired as Chief of Investigation for the New York City Department of Health, Hugh Glover is graduating this spring from Lehman College's Adult Degree Program with a bachelor's degree in music. The 74-year-old originally decided to return to school because he wanted to be a role model to his grandchildren, but ended up getting a lot more in return.

It all began when Glover would drive his wife—an adjunct in Lehman's African and African American Studies Department—to work. He would spend time on the campus waiting for her and over time began to consider getting his degree. When his wife suggested that it might impress their grandkids, he was sold.

"I would definitely recommend this to people my age as a way to maintain and enhance their mental agility," says Glover, who also plays saxophone with both the Lehman Latin Band and Jazz Band and sings in the Lehman College and Community Chorus. Being around people of different ages with different backgrounds and intellect, he says, helped to enrich his experience and his outlook on life.

Music was a natural choice for Glover, whose grandmother, Pearl Wright, was a pianist who performed with actress Ethel Waters in the 1920s and '30s. Glover, too, has enjoyed a life in the arts—in 1977, he took part in the Festival of African Culture in Nigeria and earlier was director of music for the Black Arts under the Amiri Baraka Leadership, a summer anti-poverty program in 1964. But he found that he couldn't support his family on his music, so he took a civil service job, working for the Addiction Services Agency. When that agency was dismantled, he moved to the Department of Health, where he worked for 34 years until his retirement in 2000.

In addition to attending classes full-time, Glover is a mediator for Westchester Cluster Services in Yonkers, where he handles restorative justice, custody visitation agreements, and parent/teen counseling.

What will he do now that he's finished his undergraduate studies? Glover says he's keeping his options open. He'll continue to work as a mediator and perhaps take a few more classes, just to keep things interesting.