In memoriam: Emeritus Trustee John W. Glynn Jr.

Author: Notre Dame News

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John W. Glynn Jr., University of Notre Dame Trustee and member of the class of 1962, died on July 26. He was 82.

“John was a brilliant businessman, passionate educator and devoted alumnus,” Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “Above all, he was a person of deep faith, extraordinary vision and great compassion who believed wholeheartedly in cultivating the next generation of leaders. He was a trusted adviser and dear friend to me and to many others, and he will be sorely missed.”

Raised in Virginia, Glynn’s father urged him to apply to Notre Dame because of its Catholic mission and was delighted when he decided to enroll, declining a spot at an Ivy League institution to do so. As Glynn described it, “This poor kid from Virginia came to the big leagues of Notre Dame,” a transformative experience for him. Glynn majored in history and excelled academically. After graduating, he went on to earn a law degree from the University of Virginia, where he met his beloved wife of 57 years, Barbara, then a student at UVA’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Glynn started his legal career at the San Francisco firm then known as McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen. In 1968, Glynn left McCutchen to obtain his MBA at Stanford Business School, focusing on technology and venture capital because he sensed that big changes were coming to Silicon Valley. After graduating from Stanford in 1970, Glynn went to work for a venture capital firm focused on emerging technologies, where he met Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore — two engineers who co-founded Intel Corp, eventually one of the world’s largest semiconductor chipmakers. Five years later, with support from Noyce and Moore, Glynn started his own firm, Glynn Capital Management. Over the years, Glynn and his firm invested in a variety of companies in the semiconductor, software, social media and gaming industries.

Animated by a lifelong commitment to education and boundless intellectual curiosity, Glynn joined the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business in 1987 as the school’s first venture capitalist in residence and began teaching a popular venture capital course there two years later. He also taught at Stanford Business School for more than 25 years, as well as at the University of Cambridge in Great Britain.

Glynn’s service to his alma mater reflected his deep dedication to Notre Dame and its students. Among other leadership positions, he served as a member of the Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Letters, the Badin Guild, and an advisory group to support student entrepreneurs. In 2007, he was elected a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. His contributions to the work of the Academic and Faculty Affairs Committee were particularly noteworthy, and he was greatly admired by his fellow Board members for his extensive knowledge of higher education, vision and wisdom. Glynn was elected an Emeritus Trustee in 2011, and received an honorary doctorate from the University that same year.

Among the Glynn family’s most important enduring legacies at Notre Dame is the establishment of the Glynn Family Honors program in 2006, a joint honors program in the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Science. Thanks to the Glynns’ generosity, 100 of the University’s most promising students are admitted to the program each year and receive support for a wide array of opportunities, including summer fellowships to pursue original research projects at Notre Dame or other universities around the world. In the past five years, the program has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, a Churchill Scholar, four Goldwater Scholars and five National Science Foundation graduate research fellows.

Glynn is survived by his wife, Barbara; four children, two of them Notre Dame graduates, and several grandchildren.

Arrangements are pending.