Honoring the legacy of Milt Glick

Dedication of Milt Glick Ballroom at The Joe and creation of science-lecture endowment recognize vision, contributions of University’s 15th president

4/9/2013 - By: Jane Tors
Milt and Eli Late University of Nevada, Reno President Milt Glick and 2008-2010 ASUN president Eli Reilly at a Wolf Pack men's football game. The Milt Glick Ballroom will be dedicated in Milt's honor during the May 14 Honor the Best event on campus.

Milt Glick presided over the 2007 opening of the Joe Crowley Student Union and encouraged the facility to become the "living room" of the University of Nevada, Reno and the hub of what he called a "sticky campus": a vibrant university environment with activities and programming to keep students engaged and foster learning experiences outside the classroom. Glick, who served as president of the University of Nevada, Reno from August 2006 until his death in April 2011, will hereafter be linked to The Joe on May 14 when the Milt Glick Ballroom is dedicated in his honor.

The idea of the Milt Glick Ballroom was presented by a committee of faculty, staff and students who worked closely with him. The concept was endorsed by ASUN and the Graduate Student Association through resolutions of support.

"Milt was always at events with students," said Eli Reilly, a committee member who served as 2008-2010 ASUN president and is now a research analyst with the Nevada System of Higher Education. "The Ballroom is indicative of the culture he was trying to build on campus. It is used by alumni, students, faculty and the community. He will always be at our events in spirit, so there is a nice symmetry with this."

"We wanted to capture the essence of what we thought and remembered of him," said Patricia Richard, committee member and associate vice president of constituent relations in the Office of the President. "The Ballroom is appropriate because he addressed so many events and so many of his colleagues there. Dedicating the Ballroom in his honor will link his name to many activities of the University."

The Milt Glick Ballroom will be dedicated as part of the annual Honor the Best event, in that very room, on May 14 at 3 p.m.  A portrait of Glick, commissioned through the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation, will also be unveiled.

An endowment to support the Milt Glick Lecture in Science has also been established through the Foundation and will support the College of Science's Discover Science Lecture Series.

"President Glick encouraged speakers and lecture series on campus," said John Carothers, vice president development and alumni relations and executive director of the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation. "He believed campus should be a place for the discussion of ideas and that thought-provoking issues should be part of the campus dialog.

"His background in science led our committee to the College of Science," Carothers said. "It is a fitting tribute to a man who believed in presenting and discussing ideas."

"Milt was a strong, extraordinarily respected leader and that, combined with his enduring belief in the power of higher education, set the stage for a remarkable legacy," wrote then University Provost Marc Johnson in an email to campus announcing Glick's death at age 73.

Now president of the University, Johnson credits Glick with having led the University through a period of unprecedented progress and growth, despite economic challenges. Under Glick's leadership, the University reached new heights of national stature for teaching and research.

His emphasis on student success resulted in improved retention and graduation rates and continued gains in enrollment and the number of graduates. He issued a campus-wide challenge to recruit more National Merit Scholars and today the University is recognized as a National Merit Sponsor school and the student body includes nearly 50 National Merit Scholars. Glick also shepherded the opening of several student- or research-centered buildings on the Reno campus which, as he said, have changed the face and very nature of the University.

An early adopter of technology, Glick was nationally recognized as an academic leader who envisioned the role of technology in higher education. His presentations to national conferences and seminars on the topic brought together audiences of faculty, administrators and information technology leaders, and contributed to trends and innovations.

"Milt was well known nationally and was viewed by higher education faculty, researchers and leaders on this campus and across the country as a mentor and friend," said Johnson. "He was deeply passionate about the role of universities in creating the citizens of the future."

When looking back on his career, Glick often said he came to higher education 55 years ago and never left.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., in 1959, he earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 1965. Following two years of postdoctoral studies at Cornell University, he joined the chemistry faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he became a faculty senate leader and served five years as chair of the chemistry department. In the initial phase of his career, Glick was a researcher in the field of X-ray crystallography and his work was funded for 15 consecutive years by the National Science Foundation.

Prior to being named University of Nevada, Reno president, Glick served 15 years as executive vice president and provost at Arizona State University in Tempe. During his tenure at Arizona State, he contributed to a string of accomplishments including increased retention and graduation rates and a tripling of sponsored research. Prior to Arizona State, he spent three years as provost at Iowa State University in Ames and he served as interim president in his final eight months there. His first senior administrative position was dean of the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri in Columbia in the mid-1980s.

Members of the Glick family, including his wife Peggy who now lives in Seattle, plan to attend the May 14 Honor the Best event and Milt Glick Ballroom dedication. The annual Honor the Best event recognizes the achievements of University faculty, staff and students and includes the presentation of several awards. To attend, please RSVP to Breanne Standingwater at bstandingwater@unr.edu or 775-682-6022.


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