Gleason Wears Many Hats in Pursuit of His Passions JOHNSTOWN, Pa., May 7 - Chris Gleason will exchange his helmet and driving uniform for a cap and gown this weekend. The Johnstown, Pa. businessman is currently fifth in the national Grand ...
Gleason Wears Many Hats in Pursuit of His Passions
JOHNSTOWN, Pa., May 7 - Chris Gleason will exchange his helmet and driving uniform for a cap and gown this weekend.
The Johnstown, Pa. businessman is currently fifth in the national Grand Sport driver point standings in Grand-Am's KONI Challenge Series out of 98 drivers. He pilots the Turner Motorsport BMW M3 No. 96 with professional racer Bill Auberlen of Redondo Beach, Calif.
But this Saturday Gleason will don a cap and gown when he accepts the degree of master of arts in history from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The 63-year-old insurance executive already has degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and the Harvard Business School's OPM program. A firm believer in continuing education, he began taking history classes for the same reason he races sports cars: both history and racing are among his passions.
"I did it just for fun," he said Monday from the offices of his company, Gleason Financial in Johnstown, Pa. "After all this time, I got enough credits for a degree. But I'll miss going to classes and doing the research and the papers. I did my last paper for the master's degree on Saturday. It was fun!"
Gleason's particular area of interest for his master's was American political history. His brother Rob is chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Committee, while he's the Pennsylvania state finance chairman.
"My grandfather actually started our family's involvement in Republican politics before World War I, so you might say that my interest is the result of a genetic flaw!" Gleason said with a smile. "We thoroughly enjoy it, and look forward to delivering 21 electoral votes for the GOP nominee for President next year."
Politics aside, the weekend after the commencement exercises are held at Miller Stadium in Indiana, Pa., Gleason and Auberlen will be racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. Their two-and-one-half-hour race will begin at 9:05 a.m. on Sunday, May 20.
-credit: restart communications