Re-capturing memories

Re-capturing memories

A homecoming rekindles fond remembrances, aided by a trusty camera

Michael Glinsky ’83, PhD, bought his Nikon FM 35mm SLR camera in high school in Akron with lawn mowing money. He brought it to Case Institute of Technology in 1979 and used it to document his college experience—fraternity life, pie-eating contests, road trips—with black and white snapshots.

Nearly 40 years later, in the mild February of 2020, Glinsky returned to campus with the same camera. He flew in from Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his daughter, Michaela, who was making her college decision.

While Michaela toured campus and classes, dad slipped away to revisit old haunts, like Case Quad, Little Italy and Coventry Road. He shot photos with a manual camera that requires him to read a light meter and choose a shutter speed. A camera that requires him to think about what he is seeing. The better to cherish the memories.

“It was neat to see the old stomping grounds, a lot of nostalgia,” said Glinsky, who was CIT’s senior class president in 1983 and won the William Grauer Award for excellence in photography. “Case was a great four years.”

He majored in physics and pledged Sigma Nu, living in the fraternity house in Little Italy. As social chair, he learned how to rally a team and organize events, especially during Greek Week. He became part of a brotherhood.

“It really was the social life,” he said of his fraternity. “We spent so much time just sitting around talking—about politics, about academics. Still to this day I have extremely good friends from the frat. They’re the ones I stay in contact with the most. Just those really good, solid friendships.”

He was impressed by the changes he saw to campus and the neighborhood, the shiny new shops of Uptown and the new Veale University Center. But he also savored the familiar streetscape of Coventry, the setting of so many late-night pizza runs, and the musty magnificence of Rockefeller, home to physics experiments for his and earlier generations.

He was delighted to reconnect with former professors like Robert Brown, PhD, people who had mentored him, stoked his interest in research, and sped him toward a rewarding career.

After earning his doctorate at the University of California at San Diego, Glinsky worked for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Royal Dutch Shell, BHP Billiton and CSIRO (in Perth, Australia). Today he is a research physicist for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.

Michaela chose Georgia Tech over of Case, “which was a very close second,” but Glinsky expects to stay connected to his alma mater. The homecoming rekindled many fond memories. Should he ever forget, he knows, he has the photos to remind him.

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