In Memory of Linda Glessner

Dr. Linda L. Glessner, Executive Director of CIE, passed away on Saturday, January 12, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas, after an extended illness.

Dr. Glessner was well-known for her great passion for promoting the education of all people. This passion was a hallmark of her career, and she approached each day with tremendous energy, humor and creativity.

As CIE’s leader, she directed operations for all six educational units under the CIE banner: K-16 Education Center, Petroleum Extension Service, Professional Development Center, Thompson Conference Center, University Extension and the University of Texas-University Charter School.

In a message sent to the university campus, Provost Steven Leslie wrote, “Linda’s death is a great loss to our community. She will be missed greatly. I extend my heartfelt condolences to Linda’s colleagues, friends, and family.”

Former dean of CIE, Judy Ashcroft wrote, “She was generous without expecting recognition and made it possible for young men and women to go to college.”

Michael Sullivan, CIE’s manager of operations offered, “I will miss her professionalism, humanity, compassion, sense of humor and grace under pressure, and I will long remember and be impacted by the example she set. She battled her illness with quiet dignity and an ever-increasing compassion for those less fortunate than her. Linda was a beautiful and sensitive individual who conducted herself with the strength of a true champion to the very end of her life, and I will remember her with great affection for the rest of mine.”

Dr. Glessner was born September 13, 1955 in Junction City, Kansas, to Edgar and Genevieve Glessner.

She is survived by her life partner of 23 years Charles A. (Les) Henne of San Antonio; her parents Edgar and Genevieve Glessner of Junction City, Kansas; brother David Glessner, his wife Patricia and niece Danielle Aguilar of San Antonio; brother Darrel Glessner, nephew Tyler Glessner and nieces Jade White and Dara Glessner of Junction City, Kansas; and brother Dana Jon Glessner, his wife Cassie Campbell, nephews Dane Bryan, Dominick Jon Campbell, nieces Kristina Campbell and Diamond Rowland, and great nephew Dana J. Puckett of Abilene, Kansas.

Linda loved traveling, skiing, mountain biking, running and exploring the latest culinary trends. She leaves an indelible imprint on her family, friends and colleagues, and will be dearly missed.

Prior to working in CIE, Linda worked from 2000 to 2007 as the director for Continuing and Professional Studies in the Office of the Vice President for Research at Texas A&M University. She also worked for several years (1988 – 2000) in training, educational affairs and community relations at United Services Automobile Association (USAA).

In her distinguished career, Linda was an accomplished advisor to industry, public schools, non-profit organizations and higher education as an administrator or visiting faculty member. She worked with such organizations as the Center for Reform of School Systems, Halliburton and Toyota. Her work laid the groundwork for dozens of initiatives, including the Governor of Texas: Lone Star Leaders Program, (1996), Texas A&M’s Continuing and Professional Studies, (2006-2007), and Women in Development (WID), (2003-2004), among many others.

As a result of her professional achievements, Linda received several nominations and appointments, including Ambassador-elect, Points of Light Foundation, The White House, (1991-1992); Business Advisor for Governor George W. Bush’s Lone Star Leaders Program, (1996-1997); Ambassador, San Antonio Rotary Club to France, (1995-1996); Chair, Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce – Forward San Antonio III, (1997-2000); Chair, Futures & Markets Commission, University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), (2011-2013); and Chair, University of Texas Academic Deans Issues Forum, (2009-2013).

She held numerous board positions for Austin non-profit organizations, chambers, businesses and schools. She also served as a member of the Executive Advisory Board –Workforce and Economic Development for Advent GX, an experiential tourism think tank for entrepreneurism.

Linda earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Texas A&M University, after earning a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She received her Bachelor of Science in Education/Public Health Administration from Kansas State University.

At her family’s suggestion, memorial donations may be made to the Division of Continuing and Innovative Education (CIE) at The University of Texas at Austin to honor Linda’s dedicated career to the advancement of education for all people. Memorial donations may be made by mail to the Linda Glessner Memorial Fund, The University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Box 7817, Austin, Texas 78713 or on the online giving site. (If you choose the online option, under “Special Information,” select “yes” when asked if this is a “Memorial Gift,” select “Memorial Gift” and add “Linda Glessner Memorial Fund” in the remarks.)

A memorial is being planned. Details will be added to the CIE website and to the Memory Book as they become available.