by Michael Pizzitola
On a hot August day in the summer of 2013, Father Bob Glass, C.S.B., was out on the track doing his usual three-mile walk when he began to feel a heaviness in his chest.
Glass figured he was just out of shape, so he kept on walking and the pain went away.
Later, as he was going to sleep, the pain happened again, but subsided after about 15 minutes.
However, a few days later, the pain got so bad and incessant that he could not even make it to the gym from the priest residence. Luckily for Glass, his yearly physical was two days after the painful walk to the gym.
Upon telling his doctor what was going on, the doctor immediately left the room and called a cardiologist named Dr. Cook.
When he came back in, Cook handed Glass a prescription of nitroglycerine, and Glass knew he was in trouble.
Cook gave him an angiogram which revealed that he had a badly blocked artery.
Five days later, Dr. Ross Reul, class of 1985, performed a successful bypass surgery to fix the problem.
“I knew I was in big trouble after hearing what was wrong, but I was comforted knowing that Dr. Ross Reul would be doing my surgery,” Glass said. “I could not have asked for a better doctor to operate on me.”
Eager to go back to teaching World History to sophomores, Glass would have to undergo an eight to 10 week recovery process before even thinking about returning to teaching.
Unfortunately, at the end of 10 weeks Glass did not have the stamina to teach a full load; but he was not interested in teaching part-time.
Following the news that he would not be able to return to teaching, Glass spent a couple months deciding what he could do to still be an integral part of the daily activities within the school.
In January, Glass asked Dean of Students Tim Clarkson if he needed help, and within 24 hours Clarkson had made him the Assistant Dean of Students and had an office waiting for him.
Before becoming the assistant dean, Fr. Glass had spent a total of 23 years of his career at St. Thomas. He first came to St. Thomas to teach in 1967 as a scholastic working for the Basilian Fathers.
He left for Toronto in 1970 to be ordained, and returned to St. Thomas in 1974 where he remained for five years as a history teacher and state championship winning track coach.
Glass returned for another stint from 1987 to 1993 as the director of guidance.
The beloved history teacher returned again for a final stint in 2006, and says that he hopes to be here for several more years to come.
Glass’s main responsibilities will be taking care of students that are habitually tardy, truant or out of dress code.
Additionally, he will handle serious disciplinary problems immediately if Clarkson is out of the office.
Having Glass here will assist Clarkson significantly, as he was often overloaded with issues to deal with here on campus.
Fr. Glass feels very confident that he will be able to deal with these issues effectively.
“If [students] get too many absences or tardies, I will make sure things are properly handled,” Glass said. “I have always had an effective discipline system in my classes by keeping things low-key, not yelling and not sending people to the dean’s office.”
Now that Glass has the position of Assistant Dean of Students, he will use his experience to enforce student procedures.
“If you know what you’re doing, you will not get hassled by the [students],” Glass said with a smile. “Being 6’3″ 250 pounds helps a little too.”