The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
LeMaxie Glover Inducted 1997 - Teacher
Mr. Glover taught art at Woodward High School from 1956 to 1968. He was nominated for the Hall of Fame by one of his former students, who described him as: "World Class Artist. . . World Class Educator. . . World Class Everything." It is our privilege to posthumously honor him tonight as a teacher . . . artist. . .sculptor.
Le Maxie Glover was born in Kellys, Georgia, the only son of Elmira and Troy Glover. He graduated from Libbey High School in 1934. He was 34 years old, married to Mary, and working as a railroad laborer when he decided to become an artist. He earned his Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Toledo in 1954, while working full-time on a night job. Two grants, the William A. Gosline Scholarship, the Art Interest scholarship and work/study at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan helped Mr. Glover achieve a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture in 1955, while still supporting his wife and three children in Toledo. At the time, he was only one of three black artists to ever attend Cranbrook.
After graduating from Cranbrook, Le Maxie became their first black faculty member. This position allowed him to create his own sculptures while sharing his art with talented pupils. In 1956, he politely refused offers from other universities in order to return to Toledo as an art instructor at Woodward High School.
Le Maxie's daughter, Karen, and wife, Mary, were able to provide insight into the 12 years he spent at Woodward. "My father enjoyed attending the basketball games, as well as the conversations and opinions he shared with students and staff. He always felt that his teaching experiences at Woodward were his best working experiences. To him, education and learning was a lifelong journey that was fascinating. He enjoyed sharing that experience with the students and faculty, including Gus (one of Woodward's most loyal fans)."
Le Maxie worked with students on many projects, including set decoration for the Extravaganzas. Among his favorite students were James Brzuchalski, because of his keen interest in Art, and the Sweebe sisters. James is currently an art teacher for Toledo Public Schools.
Mr. Glover considered Mr. Robert Rettig to be "a truly compassionate man." He was honored to do a bust of Mr. Rettig. It was one of his best portraits because he felt that he had captured Mr. Rettig's spirit in the work. Woodward staff members, Marilyn Walchuk and her husband Harry became lifelong friends. He also enjoyed Kay McKinnon's wit and considered Joe Dence a good friend.
In 1968, Le Maxie requested a transfer to Scott High School. "I felt I was needed at Scott," Mr. Glover explained. "Woodward has been a wonderful place to be, but with the situation the way it is-in the world, the nation, the schools-I felt I could be of most service there." Scott High School had been the scene of student unrest that year. One of the demands had been for more qualified black teachers. So, just as he had done when he left Cranbrook Academy to come to Woodward, Le Maxie again put others before himself to go where he was needed. Mr. Glover taught at Scott from 1968-1981. He retired from teaching in 1981 as Chairman of their art department.
As a teacher, Mr. Glover had an abiding interest in the welfare of his students. He felt that being a teacher was "a most honorable profession." He also was a builder of self-esteem and enjoyed helping students develop their self-confidence. He often told students that work, not luck, was needed for success. "Never expect something for nothing. When people say to me, 'Man, are you lucky!' I think, 'Luck nothing!' I went to school, worked a full day, and studied until 3 in the morning to earn a scholarship."
As an artist, Le Maxie's specialty was sculpting in bronze, wood, stone, terra cotta, plaster or marble. He often presented the finished model to his subject. Among unusual projects completed in Toledo was his work in 1971 to sculpt the head of St. Francis de Sales to restoring the vandalized statue in front of St. Francis High School. In 1965, Toledo City Council donated 2 black walnut tree logs to LeMaxie, who had been commissioned to make a crucifix for a new church, St. Richard's Catholic Church in Swanton. His work can be found in several of Toledo’s public education buildings and in private collections throughout the United States. His art has been exhibited at the Toledo Museum of Art, the Williston Museum of Art in North Dakota, the Art Extended Gallery in Detroit, the Michigan Area Artists Show, the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, and the Confederation of Black Artists.
Le Maxie was the first recipient of the "COBA" (Confederation of Black Artist) Award in 1973. In 1981, the Community Room at Scott High School was named in his honor. Le Maxie served on the Toledo Museum's Minority Advisory Committee and on the boards of the Boy Scouts of America and his church, St. Paul Baptist Church.
In 1984, at age 67, Le Maxie Glover passed away. He was married to Mary Lyte. They had three children: Karen, Donald, and Michael. The family was "elated" when notified of his election into the Woodward Hall of Fame.
Le Maxie Glover once said, "I don't think the world ever owes anybody anything. I think l owe the world something. I think l owe the world... at least to live in such a way that I will be respected, and I will respect those around me." LeMaxie Glover. . . your wishes have been fulfilled.