By Taylor Frey
Elm Staff Writer
Last month Barry Glassman, Class of 1984 visited Professor Melissa Deckman’s state and local politics class to discuss his experience serving the citizens of Harford County. A former Harford County Councilman, Glassman was elected to serve in the Maryland House of Delegates in 2000 and filled a vacant Maryland State Senate seat in 2007. During his visit to Deckman’s class, Glassman gave students an inside perspective on Maryland politics and explained that working across the aisle to provide services to constituents is a vital part of any local politician’s job. At the time of his visit, Glassman was running for Harford County executive, a race he won by double digits with generous bipartisan support.
A volunteer firefighter since the age of 16, Glassman has a long history of serving communities, including Washington College. After attending Havre de Grace High School, Glassman enrolled in WC and graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Art in Political Science. A proud member of the WC community, Glassman got his start in politics in Chestertown as the vice president, and later as president, of the Student Government Association. Still in possession of one of his Presidential campaign fliers, Glassman credited his campaign win to his willingness to knock on doors and directly reach out to his fellow students, and has been knocking on doors and reaching out to the citizens of Harford County ever since.
A member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Glassman was awarded the Henry Catlin 94 Medal for his “outstanding qualities of scholarship, character, leadership and citizenship.” In addition, Glassman was “selected as an ‘Outstanding Young Man of America for 1989.’” As can be expected by his impeccable record of service, Glassman’s desire to give back to WC goes beyond a gracious mid-campaign visit to a state and local politics class at his alma mater.
Not only has Glassman helped WC interns through the Maryland State Legislature Internship program, he has hired Mike Mason, a WC intern and 2011 graduate, to work in his office and later asked Mason to manage his campaign for Harford County Executive. After visiting the College, Mason and Glassman welcomed my request to volunteer for the campaign, and suggested that I and anyone else interested travel to Harford County and assist the campaign on election night. At this suggestion, I recruited another student from Professor Deckman’s class to join me on this short trip to Harford County.
On election night, Glassman and Masson welcomed us to campaign headquarters. With the addition of Bob Hockaday (Glassman’s campaign advisor and former classmate at WC), headquarters felt like home, a mini transplant of the College community. The opportunity to experience this entrenched WC pride and be a part of the success of a member of the WC family was a tremendously meaningful experience. I hope in the months and years to come, students like myself, faculty members like Dr. Deckman, and alumni like Mason, Glassman, and Hockaday can come together and build upon the school pride initiatives currently in place. Programs like the Student Government Association’s newly restructured “WACy Wednesday” are a step in the right direction. With the help of faculty, staff, and alumni students can make the WC community ties and level of campus pride stronger. We can strengthen community bonds and move the College forward.