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William D. Glenn, Distinguished Community Leader and Advocate, to Chair the Graduate Theological Union’s Board of Trustees
June 5, 2020 — (Berkeley, CA) The Graduate Theological Union is pleased to announce William D. Glenn of Santa Rosa, California, as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Glenn succeeds Susan Cook Hoganson in the role of Chair, beginning a two-year appointment that will continue through Spring 2022.
Mr. Glenn, a graduate of the University of San Francisco and Pacific School of Religion at the GTU, has served on the GTU’s Board of Trustees since 2013. In that time, his service to the Board has been wide-ranging and robust, drawing on a unique blend of expertise and strength in fundraising, administration, and advocacy. Leadership roles included Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees (2019-2020), Chair of the Advancement Committee (2016-2020), and Chair of the Presidential Search Committee (2017-2018), in addition to leading the formation of the GTU’s first Select Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness.
“[The GTU is] a constantly changing organism within a constantly changing world,” remarked outgoing Chair, Susan Cook Hoganson. In navigating these changes, she spoke of Mr. Glenn’s many attributes in leading the GTU into a new era of opportunity, remarking upon the “deep seated integrity, wisdom, and wealth of experiences” that he brings to the role.
At the heart of these experiences has been a lifelong commitment to heal and uplift, inspired by a spirit of service. A deeply involved member of the larger Bay Area community, for over forty years, Mr. Glenn has expressed these commitments through private practice in clinical psychology, engaging with arts and culture, advancing causes impacting the LGBTQ community, supporting resilience among incarcerated populations at the San Quentin State Penitentiary, and serving for nine years as a senior administrative leader at Mercy High School of San Francisco. His community and advocacy work are further attested to in a wide range of roles for which he has been recognized, including his tenure as a member on the Board of Directors at KQED, serving as the Vice President for Fund Development at the San Francisco Foundation, acting as a founding member of the National Advisory Board for the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Ministry and Religion at the Pacific School of Religion (PSR), and appointments with Continuum HIV Services and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Mr. Glenn received the Award for Distinguished Preaching from the Pacific School of Religion, as well as the Founders Award, which he shared with his husband, Scott Hafner, a former board chair at PSR. Mr. Glenn has also been recognized with the James C. Harrison Leadership Award and as an invitee of the Hillary Rodham Clinton Community Leaders Tea.
“The GTU is sacred ground on which we meet, peopled by quite remarkable individuals who believe in the idea of the magis, that is, the greater good—and are not satisfied with the collective culture’s notion of the good, but always strive for more, work for which the world has great need—perhaps now, more than ever.” - William D. Glenn
In this work, Mr. Glenn has been guided by what he has described as “life gifts” stemming from his time as a member of the Jesuit Order (1970-1979) and student of the Jesuit School of Theology at the GTU (1977-1979). A formative and transformational experience, Mr. Glenn spoke candidly about the influence and impact of this period on the future direction of his life. “When the student is ready,” he remarked, “the teacher will appear. The GTU is the teacher and has changed my life unutterably.” He continued, “I took courses on feminist ethics from Karen LeBacqz, Bodily Theology taught by Mary Ann Finch, and The Theology of Social Justice taught by Robert Egan SJ. They all changed me. Profoundly.”
In speaking to his vision for the Graduate Theological Union, Mr. Glenn said, “The GTU is sacred ground on which we meet, peopled by quite remarkable individuals who believe in the idea of the magis, that is, the greater good—and are not satisfied with the collective culture’s notion of the good, but always strive for more, work for which the world has great need—perhaps now, more than ever.”
Mr. Glenn began his tenure as Chair of the GTU’s Board of Trustees on June 1, 2020. The GTU will host a more formal community gathering to mark the occasion at a future date.