Army vet who became a CPA gives back through scholarships

Waverly Glover, who died in January at 98, always wanted to help Black students get college education

For many Americans growing up during the Great Depression, going to college or even graduating from high school were goals that were out of reach. This educational path was even more difficult for Blacks during this time.

Waverly Glover was born in May of 1921 in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He was 98 years old when he passed away in January of this year, but during his lifetime, he not only graduated from Mount Vernon High School but also, after spending several years in the Army, attended Central State University, graduating in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Because he considered these experiences a true blessing in his life, he spent the decades following college helping other young Black students achieve the dream of college.

“My dad was one of six children,” said Pam Glover, one of Glover’s twin daughters. “His parents instilled the importance of education into all their children.”

Glover excelled in school. His parents, married for 50 years, taught their children to give back no matter how much or how little they had. They often gave food grown in their own family garden to others in need.

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After joining the Army and scoring high on aptitude tests, Glover’s job took him to Europe. He used the GI Bill to fund college at Central State and after graduation, he began working for the Internal Revenue Service as an agent. He became one of the first Black certified public accountants (CPA) in the region. His experiences inspired him to establish scholarship funds, both at the Dayton and Springfield foundations.

“Mr. Glover established his scholarship fund with us about 15 years ago,” said Gina Sandoval, marketing and communications officer for the Dayton Foundation. “He was the humblest man, but was so proud of this fund.”

Sandoval said the Dayton-based fund has awarded a total of $7,500 in scholarship money to Black students majoring in accounting or business with plans to attend Central State or Wilberforce universities.

During his lifetime, Glover served as chief financial manager for Central State, and director of budgets and assistant treasurer at Ohio University. He served the City of Springfield as finance director and assistant city manager. He received numerous awards and commendations, but Sandoval, who nominated him for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame into which he was inducted in 2015, said he considered that the highlight of his life.

“He was beyond grateful for the GI Bill, which enabled him to go to college,” Sandoval said.

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In Springfield, Glover met Lester Smithers and together with former Springfield Mayor Bob Burton, co-founded the African-American Community Fund (AACF) of the Springfield Foundation in 2004.

“When I first met Waverly, we started talking and I knew right away we both had the community at heart,” Smithers said. “He was always a person who put the community’s needs before himself.”

In fact, since its inception, the AACF has grown to include 10 endowment funds with assets of more than $570,000.

“My dad started looking at how he could help people with his accounting degree almost as soon as he graduated from college,” daughter Pam said. “I remember him helping many people with taxes and sometimes wouldn’t charge them. He also helped take care of older people he knew by checking in on them regularly.”

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Corey Holiday, a Springfield native who received $5,000 from the AACF to help pay for his education at Central State, called the scholarship a blessing because it lifted the financial burden and worry from his shoulders.

“I was excited to meet Mr. Glover,” Holiday said. “It was surreal to meet someone who was an important part of Black history. We talked about his experiences and mine, and he was so inspiring.”

Pam and her twin sister, Paula, grew up knowing they would always have the best educational opportunities their father could provide. Both girls attended private schools, then went on to Miami University (Pam) and Wright State University (Paula).

“My dad was the first of his family to go to college,” Pam said. “And it wasn’t a question growing up if we were going, but where we would choose to further our education.”

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Today, Pam, who lives in Trotwood, is a mental health therapist, helping children in the Dayton area. She said her father was always there for her, with guidance and advice, as well as support.

“I was fortunate to have him for 63 years,” Pam said. “His mind was like a steel trap and we’d talk about everything the past few years. He always said it doesn’t matter if it’s your time or your resources, giving back can benefit you tremendously. And what a wonderful world it would be if everyone who received would give something back.”

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