Dr Leopold Glushak, Estonian-born founder and president of the “Glasgow University Club of North America”

Leopold Israel Glushak graduated from the University MB ChB in 1912. He was born in 1889 in Werro, Livonia, Russia, which is modern day Voru, in Estonia. Before coming to Glasgow in 1907, he had already travelled with his father, rabbi Joseph Glushak, around synagogues in Eastern Europe, England and South Africa.

Leopold Glushak, 1912 Medical Dinner, DC225/1/10

Glushak’s veneration for some of his teachers at the University was noted, among them Sir William Macewen, Regius Professor of Surgery and pioneer of brain surgery, and Sir Robert Muir, Professor of Pathology and an authority on diseases of the blood cells and breast cancer. After graduating with his medical degree, Glushak moved to the USA, first to Washington, then to New York where he settled, practicing as a orthopoedic surgeon and assistant clinical professor.

It was on the occasion of the Fifth Centenary of the University (in 1951) that Glushak first made his plan to form the American branch of the Graduates Association known to Sir Hector Hetherington, the then Principal of the University. It was to be centred in New York, but in touch with graduates all over the USA, ready to receive them when they came to New York. After joining in the Fifth Centenary celebrations in Glasgow in June 1951, Glushak returned to New York with addresses from the General Council and Medical Registers, which he used to invite a group of graduates to his home where he found the Glasgow University Club. Its first annual dinner was held in 1952 at the Plaza hotel in New York with its principal guest as Sir Hector Hetherington. This venue would have been slightly more luxurious and spectacular than the St Enoch’s Hotel in Glasgow where Glushak celebrated his Final Year Medical Dinner in 1912 (see photograph).

We invite you to get in touch with any of your stories about members of the old Glasgow University Club of North America!

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