A president with panache
Resting his elbow on his white Thunderbird, his other hand tucked inside his jacket pocket, T. Keith Glennan appears happy to pose as he arrives for work in 1957. By this point, he had been president of Case Institute of Technology for nearly a decade. He was a still a year away from taking leave to launch NASA, the nation’s space agency, but Glennan had already built a national reputation for himself and for Case.
As evidenced by the bow tie, white driving hat and matching white handkerchief peeking out of his jacket pocket, he brought a little showmanship to the job. It was in his blood.
After earning his electrical engineering degree from Yale, Glennan honed his early career in motion pictures. He was a leading engineer in the emerging sound technology–and a keen manager of creative talent. In Hollywood, Glennan rose to become studio manager of both Paramount Pictures and Samuel Goldwyn Studios.
The Navy tapped his expertise for World War II, and Glennan helped advance anti-submarine technology as Director of the Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory. After the war, Case trustees, urged by influential alumni, offered him the presidency. He arrived in 1947 and shepherded the newly named Case Institute of Technology to the top ranks of the nation’s technical schools. He also helped initiate a controversial federation with Western Reserve in 1967. But that was a decade away when The Differential, the Case student yearbook, published this photo.
“President Glennan has done more to put Case on the engineering map than any other single person in her long history,” the editors declared. “Wherever he has gone, whatever he has done, T. Keith Glennan has excelled. We are proud that he has chosen Case as his home.”