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Joseph C. Gluck


Educator and clergyman Joseph C. Gluck (January 31, 1915-February 18, 2004) was born Auburn, Ritchie County, the son of Howard and Dora Zinn Gluck. He attended Harrisville High School and Bethany College. He earned a master’s of divinity degree at Yale University and was ordained an American Baptist minister before enlisting as a navy chaplain in World War II.

Gluck was a mainstay on the campus of West Virginia University for more than a half-century after 1946, as dean of students, vice president for student affairs, and special counselor to students. He was a founder and early member of WVU’s prestigious Order of Vandalia and received honorary doctorates from Alderson-Broaddus College and Bethany College.

From 1956 to 1984, Dean Gluck was pastor of the Forks-of-Cheat Baptist Church, established in 1775 at Stewartstown, north of Morgantown. He helped preserve history there and revived the tradition of eating bear at an annual church picnic. His wife, Margaret Hannah Gluck, of Cass, Pocahontas County, died February 18, 2002.

A gardener whose sweet peas were legendary, Gluck collected humorous stories. He shared widely both flowers and jokes. Dean Gluck died in Morgantown.

Written by Mary Lucille DeBerry


  1. Hepler, Linda. The Preacher and the Bear: A Monongalia Church Celebrates an Unusual Tradition. Goldenseal, (Spring 1991).

  2. Spitznogle, Laura. The Man of a Thousand Stories. West Virginia University Alumni Magazine, (Fall 1998).