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2022 Honoree - Dr Gladys F. DeVane

Dr Gladys F. DeVane was honored for a lifetime of “service above self” at the Bloomington Rotary Toast Friday, November 4 at Ivy Tech’s Shreve Hall, 200 N. Daniels Way, Bloomington.

Gladys has selected LIFEDesigns as her charity for this fundraiser, hosted by the three local Rotary clubs.

About Gladys

Her first life:

She is a wife, mother, educator, community activist, and at age 82 still learning and growing. The first in her family to graduate high school, the first to attend college, and the first to earn MS, and Ph.D. degrees; all this, while working, raising three sons—one who has a developmental disability—and a nephew. She has enjoyed the love and support of a devoted husband, but as Vice President of Sales for Asia and the Pacific Realm, for a medical products company, Gene traveled extensively. So, it was her responsibility to provide the glue that held the family together. And that she did! She has lived in Bloomington more than 58 years.

Her second life:

Dr. Gladys DeVane—Professor Emerita—Indiana University, retired in 2003 after 38 years of teaching and administrative responsibilities at Indiana University (see vita). She then returned to her first love—theater.

As an actor, storyteller, and writer she has performed in mainstage plays, storytelling events, stage readings, and she has provided “voice-over” and narratives for documentaries. She has written and performed numerous one-person shows that depict the lives and struggles of real African American people.

Gladys was honored as an elder in Stephana I. Colbert’s book, Ordinary Extraordinary African American Women: The Elders (2017). Throughout her life, Gladys has continued to re-create herself in order to adapt to an ever-changing world. As a wife for more than fifty-seven years and a mother of three fine young men she says “I’m a senior now, and I’ve lived a good life BUT IT’S NOT OVER YET! My philosophy is—Life is only as interesting as you make it, so I make life interesting by continuing to re-invent myself”

In celebration of Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial, Gladys co-wrote, produced, and performed in her first original play, Resilience: Indiana’s Untold Story. In 2018 in celebration of Monroe County’s Bicentennial celebration, she wrote her second original play, Stories of Monroe, and in 2021 she wrote and performed in her one-act play, A Soulful Thanksgiving.

Dr. DeVane’s first book, Come Sit with Me: Life in prose, poetry, and plays was published 2021. As Dr. DeVane so aptly stated, “Life is only as interesting as you make it, so I make life interesting by continuing to re-invent myself”