Photo by Tennessee State University
Glenda Glover became the 30th international president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on Thursday, July 12, at the organization's international conference in Houston, Texas.
A group of nine African American women founded AKA at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1908. It is the oldest predominantly African American Greek-lettered sorority in the U.S., and it currently has more than 1,000 chapters with approximately 300,000 members nationwide.
The sorority elected Glover as vice president in 2014, and she assumed the role of president following the end of predecessor Dorothy Buchanan Wilson's term. Glover's term will last until 2022.
One of her primary goals as AKA president will be promoting a new initiative called "HBCU for Life: A Call to Action," Glover says. It will focus on marketing and promoting historically black colleges and universities to encourage more students to attend these institutions.
"HBCUs are in my DNA, and I have a commitment to them because they changed my life," she said. "When I left my hometown for college, I wanted to explore all that life had to give. HBCUs prepared me to do the things that would underscore my future. They're so important and necessary today because a lot of students need the nourishment they give."
Glover was born in Memphis, Tenn., and attended Tennessee State University. While there, she was inducted as an AKA member in 1971. After earning her bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1974, she went on to receive a MBA in accounting from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta in 1976; a doctorate in economics and business from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in 1990; and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., in 1994.
From 1990 to 1994, Glover served as the chairperson of the department of accounting and as an accounting professor at the Howard University School of Business. She then accepted a position as dean of the College of Business at Jackson State University from 1994 to 2012.
While at JSU, she led the school in implementing the first Ph.D. program in business at an HBCU in the U.S. In 2013, Glover became the first woman president at her alma mater, Tennessee State University. She is also a certified public accountant and a licensed attorney.
In addition to "HBCU for Life," Glover said she plans to implement initiatives regarding women's health, economics, the arts and the global impact of areas populated with people of color.
As part of these initiatives, AKA will work to raise community awareness about the health and longevity of African American women, including critical health issues, such as breast cancer, fitness and heart health.
The organization will also help college students with wealth-building and financial planning, work to build support for local black businesses, and support organizations helping refugees and their families integrate into American life.
The organization will also provide learning seminars to teach its members personal wealth-building and financial planning. AKA will also partner with several organizations to make a global impact. One of these organizations is Refugees in America Assistance Program, which helps refugees of color integrate into American society.
"Becoming leader of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the organization that initiated me when I first entered an HBCU, it feels like I've come full circle in both my social and academic career, and that feeling is so important to me," Glover said. "This is such a fulfillment and the greatest blessing I could ask for."
Glover and her husband, Charles Glover, have been married for 30 years and have two adult children, Candace Glover and Charles Glover II.