After completing military service, Nord enrolled at GIA using his GI Bill benefits, earning his Graduate Gemmologist (GG) diploma in 1959. He was invited by then-president Richard Liddicoat to join the faculty in 1961. He became a tireless advocate for GIA’s travelling classes, introducing the Institute’s first corporate training courses with the Zale Corp. in the 1960s. In 1970, Nord taught GIA’s first international gemmology courses, in Ramat Gan, Israel. He resigned in 1974 for health-related reasons, but returned nine years later to serve as GIA president.
Nord’s term as president (1983–1986) restored financial stability in the wake of a global recession. It also brought an era of increased student enrollment, revitalised curriculum and expanded global development. His lasting contributions to the Institute include the establishment of student financial aid services and the founding of the highly successful Gemfest, free educational seminars now held regularly in Asia and Europe.
A longtime member of the Board of Governors, Nord was named Governor for Life in 2003, two years after receiving the Richard T. Liddicoat Distinguished Achievement Award, the Institute’s highest honor. More than five decades after his graduation, GIA and the public it serves continue to reap the benefits of Glenn Nord’s leadership and dedication.