News from Cass Business School

Gladys Parish retires after 56 years at City

Friday, 7 August, 2009

Legend says that Gladys Parish established City University. Yet another legend, spoken many years ago, said that Gladys would leave City with a hearing aid and walking stick. This latter legend certainly did not come to pass as Gladys was in perfectly good health when she finally retired after 56 years of service.
Gladys was just 16 when she got her first job working in the Vice-Chancellor’s office. She then worked in various departments at the University before shifting to a position with the Banking Centre, at what is now Cass Business School, before finally taking up a position working for Professor Grammenos at the newly established Centre for Shipping, Trade and Finance. That was in 1984 and over the next 24 years Professor Grammenos estimates that Gladys helped to organise over 350 debates and discussions, 35 public lectures and 25 international conferences.
When the Centre was established, it took eight months to appoint a course officer for the MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance because Gladys was the ultimate judge in the recruitment process. Gladys would greet the candidates and then tell Professor Grammenos which ones were worth pursuing following the formal interview. Gladys had very high standards and finally settled on Mary Flynn who is now the Programme Manager for the Specialist Masters programme at Cass.
Gladys was Mary’s first boss, guiding her on the day to day management of a busy academic department. Mary remembers Gladys for her wisdom and her excellent judgement of character. Gladys was also known to be an excellent writer, one of the best in the Business School, and she had a great depth of knowledge and experience in how academia and the City of London operated.
Professor Grammenos says that Gladys’ total honesty meant that he could trust her 100 percent. Gladys never minced her words and she would always speak the truth, even if it was unpopular. This is an admirable quality and one which meant she was a trusted confidante for many years.
When Cass’ new building was opened by in 2003, Gladys presented Her Majesty the Queen with a bouquet of flowers and, in recognition of her years of service to the University, Gladys was awarded an honorary Master of Arts (MA) in 2001.

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Gladys Parish receiving her honorary MA from Professor Costas Grammenos

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