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Rutgers women’s basketball loses a dear friend and supporter

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You likely don’t know Glenys Manfre. But the women who played basketball for Rutgers did, and that was all that mattered

Tina Gordon with permission

It isn’t a name you likely know. But the women who play basketball for C. Vivian Stringer - and CVS herself - know who Glenys Manfre was.

Glenys was a loyal supporter of Rutgers women’s basketball and she passed away on November 29 of this year after a lengthy fight with cancer.

If you think this is a story about a Rutgers grad who supported her Alma Mater, you’d be wrong. Glenys was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from King’s College in Wilkes Barre. That’s coal country and the last thing on the minds of folks up there is Rutgers women’s hoops....or anything Rutgers.

For the last 39 years, she and her husband Bob have lived in Hillsborough and it was from there that their love and support of Rutgers - and especially women’s basketball - grew.

Now, anyone can go to a game now and then or write a check to the R Fund. Glenys and Bob did way more than that. And that’s why she is notable and why we’re telling this story. For the last 17 years, the couple made Rutgers women’s basketball their life. Glenys served as president of the Cagers Club, the fan/support group, for four years. You could see them constantly at the RAC and at more than a few road games. The Cagers sponsor bus trips (the Rolling RAC) to the closer away games like Temple or Seton Hall. But it wasn’t unusual to see them both on longer trips, even as she overcame numerous medical challenges. In fact, she was in Florida to watch the team play in the Gulf Coast Showcase literally days before she died.

Tyler Scaife, current recipient of the Manfre Endowed Scholarship, with Bob and Glenys
Tina Gordon

And the Manfres’ passion for the Knights motivated them to endow an athletics scholarship, the Bob and Glenys Manfre Endowed Women's Basketball Scholarship. And if you really want to know what dedication and commitment is, consider this fact: Glenys fulfilled a dream during the 2013-14 season when she attended every game that year, both home and away. Sometimes she was the only Rutgers fan at the game, but everyone knew that she was there. She would sit right behind the team, leading the cheers for all of us. She was so proud of that accomplishment; it meant everything to her.

Bob and Glenys at Briana Canty’s Senior Night
Tina Gordon

In a letter to the Cagers informing them of Glenys’ passing, Cagers president Kathy Duff wrote, “I'm sure that you share my sentiment when I say that I will be forever grateful for Glenys's love and friendship. When I joined the Cagers Club and didn't know anyone, she and Bob welcomed me with opened arms, as they did with everyone! There was nothing that she wouldn't do for us! One of our Cagers Club members (and Glenys' biggest fan) said to me tonight, ‘All my Glenys memories include the word FUN’.”

The Manfres hosting the annual team picnic
Tina Gordon

Here’s the thing about Glenys: she’s not a Rutgers grad. She’s not even originally from New Jersey. Yet her commitment to Rutgers ran deeper than many who have a Rutgers diploma on their wall. She’s the kind of person Rutgers needs more of. She’s a loyal daughter in that sense. And for me, this is the ultimate recognition of her love of Rutgers:

There will be a celebration of life memorial for Glenys at noon Sunday, Jan. 14 in Kirkpatrick Chapel on the Old Queens campus at Rutgers.

Bob Manfre has requested that friends please send donations to the R Fund at the Rutgers University Foundation, 355 George St., Liberty Plaza, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, in memory of Glenys. Link to R Fund donation page here.

We pledge our faith to Alma Mater,

Our love to all the fond old scenes,

And e'er through life we stand together,

For love we bear to Queens.

And e'er through life we stand together,

For love we bear to Queens.