JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Eight years after taking the helm of one of the nation's oldest historically black colleges, the man who pulled Edward Waters College from the proverbial brink is ready to see what's next.
Dr. Nat Glover, who previously served 37 years in a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office uniform, is retiring as president of EWC.
“My internal clock tells me it’s time to pass the baton,” Glover said. “And when that happens, the past has indicated to me that I need to listen to that.”
Glover was elected Jacksonville's first black sheriff in 1995.
As the top cop in the city, Glover's mission was to pull troubled children from the abyss of crime and help them focus on an education that would lead them toward a brighter future.
As a college president, Glover's challenge from the start was strengthening the school’s foundation and transforming the college's culture.
“Graduation rates have always been a big deal in higher education, and we’ve been able to elevate that to a level more than 100 percent,” Glover said. “When you look at the student-centric culture that we were able to implement, that’s a big deal as well.”
Glover, who graduated from EWC in 1966, said he hopes his successor will continue efforts to recruit and retain students.
He said he's willing to help the next president improve the school’s standing in the community, enhance its infrastructure and promote efforts to make more scholarship money available.
Glover is confident the school’s future is bright.
“We look at our student base, and we do have some brilliant students,” Glover said. “As a matter of fact, 40 percent of our student body is on the honor roll, and 60 percent of our athletes are on the honor roll, so we actually do a good job with those students. But a lot of them come from challenged neighborhoods and from a challenged home environment and to a great degree very challenged schools. So it’s almost like the Olympics -- we have somewhat of a more difficult dive, but we do very, very well with it.”
Glover said he will spend a few weeks with family before going back to doing what he can to improve the quality of life in the city he dearly loves and garnering even more support for his alma mater.
Messages to Glover
Several colleagues have written messages to Glover on his departure on the college's President's Gala Guestbook.
One message was from the newly hired EWC football coach:
Congrats on your years as an outstanding public servant and man of faith. I wish you much success and rest and relaxation in the next phase of your life. I appreciate you and thank you for having faith and trust in me to be your next Head Football Coach. We will do our best to make you proud.
-- Fraternally Yours, Gregory A. Ruffin
Another came from Faculty Senate President Dr. Felicia Wilder Lewis:
On behalf of the Faculty Senate at Edward Waters College, thank you for your inspiring stories, leadership, guidance, service and love for Edward Waters College. May the alma mater always ring true.."Dear Old Edward Waters...you're the world to me." Many blessings to you and your family. God be the Glory that shines his light on you always.
To read more of the messages, go to https://www.ewc.edu/presidents-gala-guestbook.
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