Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Frances Hughes Glendening
MSA SC 3520-2298
First Lady of Maryland, 1995-2001

[Photo of Frances Hughes Glendening, MSA SC 4494]

Frances Hughes Glendening
Photography by Richard Lippenholtz
Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 4494


Frances Hughes was born in 1951 to parents, Patricia and George R. Hughes, Jr. of Cumberland, Maryland.   She met her future husband, Parris N. Glendening, at the University of Maryland College Park where she was an undergraduate student and he was a teacher. In November 1976, the couple married. The Glendenings have one son, Raymond.  The former First Lady  resides in University Park in Prince George's County.

In 1974, Mrs. Glendening earned her bachelor's degree in Government and Politics and in English from the University of Maryland. She also received her master's degree from the University of Maryland in Public Administration and American Government in 1977. In 1986, Mrs. Glendening was awarded a Juris Doctorate degree from the Catholic University School of Law, where she had served as associate editor of the Law Review.

During her professional career, Mrs. Glendening has worked with the Federal Communications Commission, Public Technology, Inc., and the Prince George's County Office of Personnel. While working in the Personnel Office, she had the opportunity to oversee Prince George's County Comprehensive Employment Training Act programs. Mrs. Glendening is currently an executive assistant and chief legal and policy advisor to a commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.

In addition to her commitment to her career, Mrs. Glendening also took  her responsibilities as First Lady of Maryland very seriously.  Assuming the role in 1995, she organized several art exhibitions in Government House including "Portraits of the First Ladies and Official Hostesses of Maryland from the State Collection." This exhibition, produced with the assistance of the Maryland State Archives, was a tribute to her predecessors, who according to Mrs. Glendening "have made important, but often overlooked, contributions to the history of Maryland."  She is also collaborated on a book, Women of Achievement in Maryland History, which will highlight the accomplishments of Maryland women throughout the state's history.  This project follows on the heels of the 1994 book, Women of Achievement in Prince George's County, which Mrs. Glendening played a key role in planning as well.

In addition to her career and her activities as Official Hostess of Maryland, Mrs. Glendening pursues many community service projects in her spare time. Hospice, mental health issues and suicide prevention, women's issues, and children's issues are of particular concern to her.  For example, she has served on the board of directors of Hospice of Prince George's County since 1985.  Through this organization, Mrs. Glendening was instrumental in planning the only Prince George's County facility which provides in-house treatment for terminally ill patients. She also has been a member of the Prince George's County Suicide Prevention Center and Hotline's board of directors and a co-chair of the organization's resource development committee.  Additionally, Mrs. Glendening has been a member of the College Park chapter of the Maryland Federation of Business and Professional Women's (BPW) Organizations since 1976.  During her tenure, she has held several offices including organization president as well as co-chair of the cable television committee. Through this group, Mrs. Glendening helped to produce two cable television programs, "Women's Changing Roles: Finding a Balance" and "Family Violence: A Conspiracy of Violence," both of which won national awards. Her contributions to the BPW were so significant, she was voted "Woman of the Year" in 1981 by the membership.

The former First Lady is also a founding director and board member of the Prince George's Community Foundation. This non-profit organization, formally known as the Parks and Recreation Foundation, awards grants for youth education and human services programs. Currently, Mrs. Glendening is taking part in the organization's "Youth Initiative 2000: Looking to a Bright Future." The goal of this program is to prevent violence among Prince George's County youths. To recognize her invaluable contributions to this group, the Foundation selected Mrs. Glendening as their "Woman of the Year" in 1995.  Additionally, Mrs. Glendening has served as a member of the Prince George's Historic and Cultural Trust, the Media and Film Office, the Commission for Families, Children, and Youth, and the University of Maryland College Park Colonnade Society. As a charter member of the UMCP Colonnade Society, Mrs. Glendening is committed to improving the quality of higher education by contributing funds to benefit academic programs.  In all of her roles, within the family, the workplace, the government, and the community, Frances Hughes Glendening always rises to the challenges presented to her.  In all that she undertakes, she has emerged as a role model and an inspiration for all Maryland citizens.

Biography courtesy of the Governor's Office.

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