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Hawk alum leaves mark on local community, nation, and world

Hawk alum leaves mark on local community, nation, and world

NORFOLK, Neb. - Northeast Community College is proud to recognize Lt. Commander Ernest H. Gleim as a Hawk alum.

Graduates of Northeast Community College and its predecessor institutions have left their mark not only on the local community, but on our nation and, in the case of Ernest Gleim, the world. 

Gleim graduated from Polk High School in 1949. He earned an Associate of Arts degree from Norfolk Junior College (NJC) in 1951. 

Gleim was an active student during his time at NJC. He was the president of his graduating class, a member of Y.M.C.A, Sergeant-at-Arms on the N Club, on the Blackhawk staff, the track team, co-captain of the football team, a member of the Queen's Court, and worked for Paul Pasewalk Hardware off campus. 

After graduation from NJC, Gleim entered the Naval Cadet program, received his pilot’s wings, and was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. 

Gleim showed great leadership abilities by commanding crews and officers and carrying out missions successfully under pressure. Because of this, he was inducted into the Fraternity of Saltmine Chippers Society in 1958. 

He then attended the University of Nebraska to complete his Bachelor of Science degree. 

In 1960 Gleim was selected for the Naval Intelligence team in Washington D.C. and later served as an intelligence officer in Korea. 

He was a well-known pilot and awarded a special commendation from the Korean Minister of Defense. Gleim was asked to fly the admiral’s wife, and received a card from her that read, “#1 Pilot.” 

“He excelled in a very challenging squadron, with shipboard and overseas staff assignments and was being groomed for squadron command when he and his crew perished in the Pacific Ocean in 1966 due to a mechanical failure with the aircraft,” his wife, Dorothy Gleim Claussen, wrote. 

Gleim had a passion for his community and education. He was dedicated to his career and committed to his family. This led him to receiving the Northeast Community College Hall of Success Award in 2012.

“Ernie was a career Navy officer who graduated from NJC and from the University of Nebraska. He was an outstanding athlete and student at Norfolk and was a very well-liked person in his class,” his nominator, Duane Acklie, wrote. 

The education Gleim received at NJC helped him attain a successful Navy career and establish credentials as an exceptional Naval officer and pilot specializing in intelligence and anti-submarine patrol.