Norman Glover '59 couldn’t resist stopping by the UB IDEAL Program information table at a business expo. Fifty-three years after graduating from college Norman’s enthusiasm for life and learning still sparks. Barbara Benedict, an IDEAL staff member, interviewed Norman:
UB: How did you decide to attend UB?
NG: I grew up in Bridgeport and attended Bassick High School. I worked through high school as a window washer for $1/hour. I used the money I earned to take flying lessons. I earned my pilot’s license even before I got my driver’s license. I knew that I wanted to attend college. No one in my family had attended college.
My dad was an auto mechanic and worked in the Bridgeport Brass factory. Finances were a concern since I would be paying for college myself. I decided to stay in Bridgeport and live at home. I chose to attend UB.
UB: What was it like going to college?
NG: I worked full time during the day and attended classes at night and during the summer. My goal was to graduate in four years so some semesters I took 18 credits during the day and would work a job at night. I still remember a speech class I had during the summer. The classrooms during the summer didn’t have air conditioning; back then no one had air conditioning.
I’d come in from working a full day at Avco Lycoming, an aircraft engine manufacturer, and sit in that hot classroom barely able to keep my eyes open.
UB: What kind of jobs did you have while you were a student?
NG: For a while I washed windows, I was a parking attendant, I worked the 4 p.m. to midnight shift at Sikorsky. At another point I worked at Avco Lycoming 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., then I would go to class in the morning, do my homework in the afternoon and start it over again.
UB: So did you finish in four years?
NG: Yes I did. I received my B.S. in Business Administration in 1959. I was the first male in my family to attend and graduate from college.
UB: After you received your degree what did you do next?
NG: I didn’t have the money to go to graduate school and I enlisted in the Navy. I served aboard a destroyer from 1959-1961. We were all over the Mediterranean and the Red Sea and then I was stationed at Guantanamo in Cuba.
UB: Did your experience attending college have any relevance to your time in the Navy?
NG: I realized how much I appreciated my education at UB. I was required to take courses in humanities. I took art appreciation, music appreciation and philosophy. While I was on the destroyer we made a stop in Naples, Italy. I went on leave and went to Rome. I saw so many works of art that I had seen and studied in my art appreciation class. What I learned in that class made it more meaningful.
UB: What did you do after the Navy?
NG: I went to work for City Trust Bank in Bridgeport in the trust department. George Taylor was the president of the bank at that time and he was a UB grad, too. I took the State of Connecticut employment exam twice and passed both times.
I received several job offers from the State of Connecticut. I took a job in the Department of Budget and Control as a Budget Analyst. I worked there for fifteen years moving up the ranks. When the Department of Environmental Protection was created I transferred in as Chief Fiscal Officer, where I remained until I retired.
UB: So how do you fill your time in retirement?
NG: Now I’m on the Board of Lifetime Learners and co-chairman of the Special Events committee in Norwalk.
I’m also on the Board and several committees of the PC Users Group of Connecticut (TPCUG). Our meetings are open to the general public and we cover topics like internet security, scams, social networking and the latest hardware like kindle, tablets and digital video.
UB: How would you sum up your experience at the University of Bridgeport?
NG: College was hard work but so beneficial to the rest of my life. The professors taught you to think for yourself; solve problems; use common sense. I see so many people now that can’t use common sense to figure something out, they need someone else to tell them what to do or do it for them. I wasn’t the smartest person in class but I was always highly motivated. When you are motivated you can accomplish so much more.