GLENNAN, THOMAS K. (8 Sept. 1905-11 Apr. 1995) was a leading figure in the national scientific community as well as president of Case Institute of Technology (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY).
The son of Richard H. and Margaret Laing Glennan, Thomas was born in Enderlin, SD, but raised in Montana and Wisconsin. He began college at Eau Clair Teachers College before transferring to Yale College where he received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1927.
After college, Glennan moved to Hollywood, CA, where, for eight years, he worked for the Sam Goldwyn and Paramount Studios. He then moved east to work for Ansco Corp. in Binghamton, NY. The war years found him at Columbia University's Division of War Research.
In 1947 he became president of Case Institute of Technology. During his eighteen years as president, however, he twice took leaves of absense for government-sponsored scientific assignments. In 1950-52 he served on the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and from 1958-61 he was the first adminstrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
During his tenure at Case, 12 new building were erected on campus, graduate students increased tenfold, and the faculty by 60%. In 1960 Case admitted women for the first time. Glennan, together with Western Reserve University President JOHN MILLIS, laid the foundation for the merger of the two institutions.
He announced his retirement at the end of the 1964-65 term, but remained with Case until a permanent successor was chosen in 1966. He then moved to Reston, VA, where he headed the Associated Universities, a research consortium.
Glennan received honorary degrees from JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY and FENN COLLEGE. In 1969 CWRU honored him by naming a building for him, the Glennan Space Engineering Laboratories.