Achieving My Dream and Becoming the First in My Family to Go to College

By Rev. Dr. Glenmore Bembry Jr. '78

Glenmore Bembry Jr.

Rev. Dr. Glenmore Bembry Jr.

I was motivated to give back to Montclair State University as a black male because I believe in leaving a legacy. Once we transition, I believe in the adage Maya Angelou made popular, "...that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

My parents moved to Newark, New Jersey, in 1965, and I was one of seven children. Neither of my parents graduated from high school. They both worked hard to support their family, but after I finished high school, they did not have a penny for me to attend college. Montclair State University was the first college to accept me. I worked three part-time jobs while a student to pay my way.

As a student, I became involved and I served as president of the Black Student Caucus. I also joined the Montclair State University Gospel Choir, which shaped my life.

In May 1978, after many tireless nights and tears, I graduated with my degree from Montclair State University, and a poor black kid from the South realized his dream of becoming the first in his family to attend and graduate college.

My foundation at Montclair State University allowed me to earn two additional degrees that let me follow my passion of a 30-year career at Bloomfield College as adjunct professor of religious studies and also as a pastor.

Giving back is my legacy, and once I leave this earth, Montclair State University and my graduate schools will benefit from my estate. I believe this is what life is all about, living for the moment and then passing on the torch.

You, too, can pass on a Montclair State University education through a gift in your estate plan. To learn more about your options, contact Ely F. Santoni, CFRE at 973-655-3695 or