Teacher’s Gift to Elmhurst: “Awakening the Human Spirit”

Photo of Glenn D. Lid '79.Glenn D. Lid, ’79, always knew two things: He loved sports and he wanted to teach. During his 33-year career at Proviso East High School in Maywood, Ill., he has satisfied both passions.

Glenn’s parents served as his major inspiration. “My father was the greatest teacher ever,” says Glenn. He encouraged Glenn’s passion for sports, teaching him to ski, play baseball, and speed skate. He also taught him how to study. Because Glenn’s father completed only two years of college, it was important to him that Glenn finish his formal education.

Glenn always wanted to be a physical-education teacher. Lingering self-doubt, however, and concerns from his mother about large-scale teacher cuts happening at the time caused Glenn to question his choice.

“It was at Elmhurst College that I figured out what I was capable of,” says Glenn. He took a biology class with Professor Frank Mittermeyer and earned an A. “Frank was not just interested in you as a student but in you as a person,” Glenn says. “He empowered me and made me believe in myself.”

Having excelled in science at Elmhurst, Glenn considered going to medical school. Disappointing scores on the MCAT, however, led him to reevaluate, and he decided to pursue his original plan of becoming a teacher and a coach. Upon graduation, Glenn accepted a job offer at Proviso East High School and has been teaching there ever since. He teaches chemistry and is the assistant golf coach, assistant wrestling coach, and head varsity baseball coach.

Glenn’s wife Carol, a third-grade teacher, shares his passion for teaching. Glenn says of his teaching career, “As teachers, we are here to provide an awakening to the human spirit. Some of these kids come from broken homes with parents working three or four jobs and with major obstacles to overcome. We are here to nourish their spirit.” While Glenn has received numerous teaching awards and accolades, it is watching these students cross the stage on commencement day that he credits as “one of the greatest moments of my life.”

He wants to give back to Elmhurst College because of the wonderful education he received. In 2005 Glenn set up an endowed fund at Elmhurst College to assist incoming Proviso East students with the costs of textbooks. In addition, the Lids intend to support the College through a bequest. A commitment from their estate is an important way to continue to support Elmhurst students. “I want the students to change the world,” he says, “and I hope my gift will have a chain reaction that will cause these students to give back one day as well.”


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