On Wednesday, September 7, Douglas Gleason, the Acting Instructional Dean of Fine, Performing and Visual Arts at the Rockville Campus died. Gleason started at Montgomery College in 1989 teaching photography and held numerous titles at MC including. Administrative Associate to the President of the college in the spring of 1996 as well as serving as the department chair of Visual Communications Technologies (now Communications Arts Technologies) for 6 years and as the Chair of General Education Committee.
Gleason was also a news writer and photographer for the U.S. Air Force from 1969 through 1971. Gleason spent time as a professor of photography at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, North Carolina where he was greatly respected by students and faculty.
“He was very easy to work for,” said Shirley Henry, Gleason’s Secretary in the Communications Art Technologies Department. “He looked for the best in everyone. He never forgot my birthday or Professional’s Day…I always got flowers and candy,” she said.
Photography professor at MC-R Brian Jones was a close colleague and friend to Gleason. “He kept the human element in his teachings and in his personal life. He told the truth,” said Jones, “He always told you exactly what the deal was…he would never lie to you. He knew students and faculty have the same issues.”
Those who knew Gleason never had issues with him. “If a student had an issue, he would help. He knew that sometimes you have to be flexible when dealing with people,” Jones said. “Whenever there was a problem, he was always the first to look for the great compromise. Sometimes a student just can’t afford the supplies around the holidays and you have to choose between buying gifts and buying school supplies. Doug was the kind of person that would say, ‘Go do your shopping first and then get your work done as soon as possible.’”
“Doug really believed in the college,” Professor Jones continued, “He gave the college his life. It was rare when he wasn’t here. He was a pillar; he understood what it took for his department, as well as the college, to survive. Whenever there was grant money available he would let us all know…I would say Doug worked hard, but he would say he only worked hard because he needed the money. He was honest…he was beyond pettiness. ”
“He had been ill for sometime,” remembers Henry, “we kept hoping he’d get better and come back, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. He will be missed by students, staff and faculty. [His death] wasn’t a shock, but a great sadness to us all.”
Gleason’s cremated remains will be placed in the Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery on October 17 at 10:30 a.m. Friends and Family are encouraged to attend.