Father and daughter Robert and Sarah Glidden both graduated from Franklin & Marshall. Along with Bob’s wife and Sarah’s mother, Eileen, the two alums recently celebrated their alma mater and the professors that make it so special.
The family has established the Robert Glidden ’69, P’99, Eileen Glidden P’99 and Sarah Glidden Kempson ’99 Endowed Readership. It is being used on a two- to three-year rotating basis to support one or more tenured associate professors in recognition of their impressive pedagogical and scholarly accomplishments and future potential.
The College’s provost awards these funds in support of scholarly activities aligning with the professor’s teaching, including scholarship, research, professional development, and compensation. Associate professors in economics or business, organizations & society receive special consideration for the funding.
“We agreed on this gift because it's the right thing to do,” Robert Glidden, an economics major, said. “F&M was a seminal experience. It began my career trajectory. I have created, and operate, two substantial businesses. My F&M education, with a major in economics, set me up and gave me the initial business acumen to be successful.”
This academic year, the Glidden Endowed Readership recipients are Nicole Jones Young, associate professor of organizational behavior, and Leanne Roncolato, associate professor of economics.
Young, who came to F&M in 2016, researches criminal history and employment. She has done fieldwork in correctional institutions and explored work-release programs through the lens of gender. She also has analyzed the impact of training programs on equitable employment access among incarcerated women.
Roncolato, who has taught at the College since 2014, is a labor economist who studies questions of power and identity among marginalized populations. Her research has focused on international trade, gender, the economics of the household, job quality and informal employment.
In 1972, Robert Glidden and his business partner, James Bokor Sr., founded Robert-James Sales, a nationwide distributor specializing in stainless steel pipes, valves and fittings. Glidden also co-founded Trebor, Inc., an international distributor of tissue paper, pulp and containerboard.
Sarah Glidden Kempson majored in accounting at F&M. As an undergraduate, Sarah was active in Alpha Phi and the Student Managed Investment Portfolio. Like her father, she went on to earn an MBA from SUNY Buffalo, which launched her career in finance. She was a hedge fund analyst at Goldman Sachs, as well as the business manager of a private school in Princeton, N.J. Today, she is the director of concierge services at Roundview Capital.
“F&M shaped who I am,” Sarah said. “I value the liberal arts education I received because it taught me to think broadly. It prepared me to have a well-rounded career.”
F&M President Barbara K. Altmann extended her thanks to the Gliddens for their commitment to supporting the high-level teaching and research taking place at their alma mater.
“The world needs Diplomats, and no one is better positioned to accomplish that goal than Franklin & Marshall’s faculty,” Altmann said. “Our students are launched into successful careers and lives of meaning in large part due to our faculty’s teaching and mentoring. We are grateful for this gift from the Glidden family. Their foresight in supporting faculty scholarship, research and professional development helps us attract and retain outstanding professors.”
Both Glidden graduates cherish their F&M education, remarkably similar experiences despite being 30 years apart.
“F&M is a great school,” Bob said. “Students should enjoy their education and think about what they want to do for the rest of their life. They’re going to have false starts, but that’s OK. That's why you go to a liberal arts institution. You learn what you want to do and what you're good at, and you learn how to grow and keep learning.”
“I agree,” Sarah said. “I took music and oceanography, but I majored in accounting. I feel like I got to experience it all!”
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