TSU President Dr. Glenda Glover reflects on election and future possibilities

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There is a local connection to the top office of the land.

The president of Tennessee State University, who is from Memphis, confirmed to WREG-TV she has talked with the Biden administration, as it fills key positions.

Dr. Glenda Glover spoke exclusively to WREG-TV and talked about politics and her close ties with Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris.

Glover wears two huge hats, serving as President of  Tennessee State University in Nashville and at the same time leading one of the largest service organizations in the world, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

These days she has been even busier as she and other leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities called on students to Get Out the Vote in the recent election.

“Voter education is education,” Glover said. “So, we were able to get the vote out.”

For her, it is about mobilizing the youth. But there is also another connection. Vice President-Elect Harris is Glover’s AKA sorority sister.  

Glover said her newly elected position speaks volumes.

“It’s just a moment of tremendous pride for women, Black woman and just for  women across the country and around the world,” Glover said.

Glover added, “They can see her in this role.  You can see and be it. It just means so much the inspiration she brings in that position. That is part of the mission of Alpha Kappa Alpha to train young ladies to be leaders and that is exactly what is happening in the sorority.”

While AKA is non-partisan, it is active in voter engagement and joined other black Greek organizations, known as the Divine Nine, to get the vote out.

“It took the whole Divine 9 working together to get the vote out to push that vote across the country and battle ground states. Hats go off to the entire Divine 9,” Glover said.

Glover added, “They started voter education, voter mobilization to get people out to the polls, to show them how to fill out the absentee ballot. Just to have them have a basic understanding of voting early.”

Glover said Harris being an HBCU graduate from Howard University also says a lot.

“I think she has put to bed the question if HBCUs are relevant. I don’t think anybody can ask that question again with a straight face,” Glover said.

Glover has talked to Harris several times and  is looking for great things from the Biden- Harris team. There is even talk that she might be on the list to fill a position in Biden’s cabinet.

“I have talked to his team,” Glover said. “That’s as much as I can say, especially at TSU. there is not a job I love more than that.”

TSU is not far from Glover’s home, Memphis, where she grew up and where her father was active in civil rights and voting rights.

“I am very proud of my hometown. I am very proud of where Memphis is now. I think Memphis delivered the election. They got out the vote,” Glover said.

Glover added, “My father and others fought so hard and marched so hard. And we had people who died too young for the right to vote, and it’s always good when you increase that voter turnout.”

As an HBCU President, Glover has pushed for more school funding. She said that will continue.

“This funding we are seeking now is about growth and development of HBCUs,” Glover said. “To ensure they become research starters to move to the top research magnets.”

She has already led her sorority in raising a million dollars each year of her 4 year  presidency to go to HBCUs.

“We don’t need awareness, we need money. So we are gonna put together a fundraising drive. We came up with a million dollar one day drive. Which I have got to admit was pretty aggressive,” Glover said.

But sorority members came through and even went beyond the million dollar a year mark.

“It was phenomenal. We have been able to give to 100 colleges and universities that are HBCUS, we have been able to establish 50 to 100-thousand dollar endowments,” Glover said.

She hopes those funds continue to flow in from the community and government, giving HBCUs the attention and funding they deserve. 

“We are hopeful. In fact we are waiting with eager anticipation to see what is gonna happen with HBCUs,” Glover said. “That this is the year. We have declared 2021 the year of HBCUs.”

Glover’s father, Henry Baskin, was also a prominent minister in Memphis. And part of Weaver Road in South Memphis is named after him.

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