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The Hickersons: Our Donor Story

Glenn and Jane Hickerson

Lobbying on behalf of an airline seeking transatlantic routes, business executive Glenn Hickerson first met Jane Fortune in the office of Sen. John Tunney of California, where she was a staffer. Glenn was quite taken with the idea of meeting Miss Fortune, and things developed from there. It turned out to be a stroke of good fortune not only for the both of them, but for the talented students who are now the beneficiaries of their philanthropy.

Glenn and Jane are among the first major donors to the Occidental College Barack Obama Scholars program. “Jane and I both have great respect for President Obama – he was really an inspiration to young people,” says Glenn, president of San Francisco-based Hickerson Associates, a marketing and management consulting firm. “We think highly of [Occidental] President Jonathan Veitch, and were delighted to learn that Oxy was honoring him in this way.”

Although Glenn is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College (where he and Jane established the Hickerson Fortune Endowed Scholarship), his family ties to Occidental date back almost a century. His mother, Sarah (Lindsey) Hickerson ’23 and her sisters Eugenia ’22, and Mary (Lindsay) Collins ’25, all played prominent roles on campus; Sarah and Eugenia both were elected president of the Associated Women Students. Glenn and Jane have been major supporters of Occidental’s Lindsey Memorial Scholarship, established after Eugenia’s death in a car accident three months before she was scheduled to graduate.

In advising his clients, which have included IBM, JP Morgan Chase and GATX Corp., Hickerson draws on his expertise built during a half-century career in commercial aircraft sales and marketing, capital leasing, airline operations and international finance. He has served as president of GATX Capital Air Group, a commercial airline leasing company, and GPA Asia Pacific, as well as vice president of commercial marketing and sales at Douglas Aircraft. Additionally, he held executive positions at Lockheed California Co., Marriott Corp. and Universal Airlines. He has served as chair of the advisory board of GATX Corp. and on the boards of Willis Lease Finance Corp., an engine leasing company, and Airlink Inc. He received his MBA from New York University.

Jane worked at I. Magnin in San Francisco before being recruited to work in Tunney’s Washington office, which she did for four years. For more than 20 years she has been a director of The San Francisco Ladies Protection and Relief Society, aka The Heritage on the Marina, a San Francisco residential retirement center established in 1853. She also is is also a past chair of Bouquets to Art, a major fundraising activity for the fine arts museums of San Francisco. 

“Since we have no children of our own, we thought the best thing we could do is support scholarships for promising young people,” Glenn says. Not having gone to college, “I feel it’s very important to give others that opportunity,” adds Jane.