During her senior year at Western High School in Baltimore City, Gail Williams-Glasser wondered if and how she could possibly gain entrance to an elite college. Although her parents opposed and could not afford to bankroll her plans, she found support in a program called Training Now for Tomorrow, designed to encourage academically gifted working-class black students to pursue and succeed in higher education.
With bolstered confidence, honors student Williams-Glasser approached Johns Hopkins University and was quickly enrolled. It was the fall of 1970, the first year that Johns Hopkins began accepting female undergraduates, and among the 90 admitted were five black women: Williams-Glasser, two fellow freshmen, Shirley Dilsworth and Karen Freeman Burdnell, and two transfer students, Lynn Parker and Barbara Wyche.
Although she lived at home during her four years at Johns Hopkins and worked 25 hours a week at Sinai Hospital, Williams-Glasser still found time to join a chemistry club and, with a friend, to establish the university’s first cheerleading squad.
Williams-Glasser serves as the director of compliance and risk management at the League for People with Disabilities. She remains involved with the university as a member of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, the Society of Black Alumni, the Johns Hopkins Club and the Frederick Scott Brigade.