BJ Glenn ’07: Building a Career on Exposure to Communities Outside His Own

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) published a Commerce + Communities Today feature on Shipley alumnus Robert “BJ” Glenn III ’07, detailing his transformative career path from Shipley athletics to international real estate investment. 

The first thumbtack on Robert Glenn III’s map is in inner-city Philadelphia. You’ll have to zoom out to a global view to see all the places he’s been and all the experiences that have influenced him before his 2022 return to Philadelphia as vice president at real estate investment manager Lubert Adler.

The son of a North Philly cop and South Philly educator, Glenn demonstrated prowess as an athlete and as a student. To avoid substandard schools and to nurture their only child’s skills, his parents enrolled him in the K-12 private Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, outside the city. Suddenly, Glenn found himself rising at 5 a.m. daily for what seemed like an interminable bus commute. “I was the first picked up in the morning and the last dropped off at night,” he recalled.

Glenn would grow to use his bus commute as study time over the years. He made his mark in class and later on Shipley’s playing fields in lacrosse, baseball and other sports. But it was at daily recess at age 6 when he discovered a sport that perfectly blended his budding speed and agility with a strong leg: soccer. Clearly in his element, Glenn tallied a whopping five goals in his first game for a kids’ soccer club. He’d play the game for the duration of his youth, in the off-season competing on travel teams that exposed him to different communities and diverse teammates. These were early steps in a personal journey that broadened his worldview and formed a foundation for his career, Glenn said.

Soccer also landed Glenn a full scholarship to Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, where he earned all-conference honors and a Bachelor of Arts in government and law. “That set the course for the rest of my career and life,” he said.

Read the full ICSC article.


The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.