By George Mauzy
There is no debate. Chris Glaser helped take Ohio University?s forensics program to new heights and touched the hearts of many with his courage in the face of an extremely rare form of cancer.
This morning, the 2008 journalism graduate lost his three-year battle.
Friends will gather for a memorial service at 5 p.m. today in Central Classroom 310. Funeral arrangements are pending.
A native of Louisville, Ohio, Glaser became a standout on the Ohio University Forensics Team, which he joined as a sophomore in 2005. His highest individual achievement came in 2008, when he was a semi-finalist in the impromptu speaking category at the National Forensics Association Championship Tournament and helped lead the team to a second-place overall finish. That same year, he was named a finalist for the All-American Forensics Association Team.
Dan West, Ohio University?s John A. Cassese Director of Forensics, said Glaser was the first new student to join the Forensics Team after he became head coach.
?Chris was a tireless worker who always pushed himself and others to do their best, and he had a real passion for forensics,? West said. ?Despite all the treatments and hospital stays he went through, he always returned to the team as soon as he could.?
Glaser suffered from a rare form of sarcoma diagnosed in February 2006 when doctors found a tumor in his heart. The condition led to several open-heart surgeries and daily dialysis for the past two years.
West said one of the things he will miss most about Glaser -- whom he described as outgoing, talkative and always positive -- is the advice he gave him about branding and marketing the Forensics Team.
?He really helped me understand the way high school forensics worked in the state of Ohio and helped me develop great relationships with state high school coaches that has improved our recruiting and made us one of the nation?s top programs,? West said.
Glaser also made a lasting impression on Scripps College of Communication Dean Greg Shepherd, who called him ?an inspiration.?
?I feel blessed to have gotten to know him and spend a time with him the past three years,? Shepherd said, noting Glaser?s bright outlook, faith and work ethic. ?He made me feel both humble and proud and will always be an unforgettable part of the Scripps College family.?
Most recently, Glaser served as an assistant speech team coach at his alma mater, Louisville High School, where he had assisted speech and debate coach Kelly Ladd for the past five years.
?Chris taught me more about coaching than I could ever imagine. He was an amazing and awesome person who really pushed all of us to do our best,? Ladd said. ?Many of the (Louisville High School) kids are hurt today because they loved him so much.?
West said a new forensics scholarship is being planned in Glaser?s name.