From Nina Glickson’s ’73 days as a student in Yale’s first four-year cohort of women to her years advising University Presidents Richard Levin and Peter Salovey on student affairs, those who have come to know Glickson strain to imagine campus without her.
For 19 years Glickson worked as assistant to the president, and was made director of correspondence and archives and advisor on student Affairs in July 2013. While working in Woodbridge Hall, Glickson said she frequently met with students to assess undergraduate life on campus and eventually took over Levin’s correspondence.
Despite having retired on Friday, Glickson said she is not looking to stop working entirely. She said she hopes to continue interacting in some capacity with young people, perhaps high school students, continuing her decades of close interaction with young adults.
“I’m not looking to sever my ties [with Yale],” Glickson said. “But I thought it was time to really step back and take some stock of what I was doing.”
Before joining the Office of the President in August 1994, Glickson worked in the 1980s in multiple capacities at Undergraduate Admissions and the Association of Yale Alumni, in addition to five years living in Branford College as what would eventually be named associate master.
For Levin, who worked with Glickson for 19 of his 20 years as President, Glickson’s way of tightening his prose, “always getting the tone pitch perfect” and refusing to let him use any contractions in his letters or speeches were the markings of a great editor.
Salovey said Glickson’s knowledge of Yale is unequaled, adding that he was lucky to have her in his office during his transition into office.
Vice President for Global and Strategic Initiatives Linda Lorimer said Glickson’s enthusiasm developing the Woodbridge Fellowship — which brings recent Yale College graduates to work in offices reporting to a university vice president — was an example of her deep connection with undergraduates.
“When Nina came to the President’s Office 20 years ago, she brought her love of Yale College students to the daily work in Woodbridge Hall,” Lorimer said. “There has always been a parade of students into her office in Woodbridge Hall, and I bet she has mentored as many students and young alumni as any faculty member.”
Andrew Klaber ’04, who said he got to know Glickson during his time serving as Yale College Council treasurer, said she was an invaluable resource whenever YCC needed help gaging the University’s perspective on a student issue. Klaber said that his bond with Glickson has grown stronger since his graduation and that she has been just as strong a professional mentor as a personal friend.
Klaber said he was reminded of Glickson’s fortitude one day last year when he was running up Prospect Street on a harsh winter day.
“All the snow was coming down, and no one was around, there were no cars on the street, and who did I see in this black jacket crushing it up Prospect Street?” Klaber said. “I had no idea who this person was, I look back, and it was Nina Glickson. That’s who she is — nothing can stop her.”
Andrew Cedar ’06 GRD ’07, a former YCC president, said Glickson had been a powerful force in Woodbridge Hall. But, he said, he was never entirely sure what her specific job was. Cedar said her interest in student life was evident whenever she cheered from the stands at sporting events or appeared at student performances.
Cedar added he had become so close with Glickson by the end of his senior year that she was the first person his parents wanted to meet when they came to town for his graduation.
Glickson said when she entered Yale as part of the first four-year class to have female students, she was struck by how difficult it was to fully adjust.
“It was both exciting and trying,” Glickson said. “There were classes where I was occasionally the only woman in the class. I wanted to be at a school that had both men and women, but in fact there were people who absolutely were opposed to the admission of women, and some of them were students.”
During her time working for the AYA, Glickson said she was mainly in charge of major domestic Yale clubs, as well as those around the world. Glickson said she took part in alumni trips to East Africa, Hungary, Budapest, Prague, the Galapagos Islands and Vietnam, as well as hikes through the Canadian Rockies and a brief stay in East Berlin.
In addition to her runs up snowy hills, Glickson is a regular competitor in the New Haven Road Race.