IN MEMORIAM: Gateway LERA founding member Dr. Gladys Gruenberg

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LIFETIME OF ACHIEVEMENT: Dr. Gladys Gruenberg, a founding member of the Labor and Employment Association (LERA) Gateway Chapter, was recognized in 2017 with a LERA Lifetime Achievement Award. Gateway LERA Executive Director Rudy Smith (right) presented her with the award. – Labor Tribune file photo

Dr. Gladys Walleman Gruenberg, a pioneer for Labor and women and a founding member of the Labor and Employment Association (LERA) Gateway Chapter, passed away Oct. 8, 2021 at the age of 101.

She was born June 22, 1920 in Milwaukee, Wis. to John and Olive (Glassner) Walleman. She was the first member of her extended family to attend college and graduated from Marquette University Suma Cum Laude in 1940 with a degree in Latin.

In December 1941, she was appointed as a field examiner at the St. Louis Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board. In 1947, she was appointed as a graduate assistant to Fr. Leo C. Brown, S.J. at St. Louis University. She continued to work with Fr. Brown until his death and wrote his biography in 1981.

After earning her master’s degree in 1949 and her Ph.D. in 1952, Dr. Gruenberg became the only full-time female faculty member of the Economics Department at St. Louis University and taught classes in Labor economics, collective bargaining and Labor law from 1949 to 1955 and from 1969 to 1983. She was appointed an associate professor in 1969 and a professor in 1974.

Dr. Gruenberg was director of St. Louis University Women’s MBA Program, co-director of the Personnel and Industrial Relations (PAIR) program and faculty advisor to the student chapter of the Society for the Human Resources Management (SHRM).

She helped organize the St. Louis Gateway Chapter of the Industrial Relations Research Association and was a founding member of the Labor and Employment Association (LERA) Gateway Chapter. In 2017, she received a Gateway LERA Lifetime Achievement Award. She also was recognized as a mentor and model for generations of arbitrators by the National Academy of Arbitrators.

Dr. Gruenberg retired from teaching in 1983 and devoted her time to arbitration, lecturing, and writing. She co-authored a history of the National Academy of Arbitrators entitled ‘’Fifty Years in the World of Work.’’

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Harold Gruenberg, and her brother, the Rev. Kenneth Walleman, S.J. She is survived by her daughters, Sandy Davis and Dorothy Gruenberg; her son, Dan Gruenberg and four grandchildren, Amanda Grindstaff, Christopher Davis, Jennifer Gruenberg and Nathan Gruenberg.

Dr. Gruenberg has donated her body to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Center for Anatomical Science and Education. No memorial service is planned.

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