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VIProfile: Dr. Gloria Bonner




COMPILED BY JORDAN WEBB & CARRIE BETH CATRON

If you’ve been to any fundraisers, events or dinners to support our local community, then you’ve without a doubt seen Dr. Gloria Bonner. Dr. Bonner has been a pillar in the Murfreesboro Community for over 40 years as a teacher, researcher and administrator while also being involved in creative activities and community service. She retired as Assistant to the President in the Office of University Community Relations and a member of the President’s Cabinet at MTSU. A two-time breast cancer survivor, Dr. Gloria Bonner is now celebrated
as the 2019 Wine Around the Square Honoree.

If you’ve been to any fundraisers, events or dinners to support our local community, then you’ve without a doubt seen Dr. Gloria Bonner. Dr. Bonner has been a pillar in the Murfreesboro Community for over 40 years as a teacher, researcher and administrator while also being involved in creative activities and community service. She retired as Assistant to the President in the Office of University Community Relations and a member of the President’s Cabinet at MTSU. A two-time breast cancer survivor, Dr. Gloria Bonner is now celebrated as the 2019 Wine Around the Square Honoree.

Gloria’s journey with breast cancer started in 2012 with a left breast lumpectomy and radiation treatment. After successfully completing treatment, Gloria continued with her busy life working at MTSU and volunteering with many different organizations. In 2017, five months after retiring, Gloria was diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time, even though she had been exercising preventive care, living a healthy lifestyle and had no family history of breast cancer. Knowing that she would receive the highest level of care at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital, Gloria embraced the concept that her diagnosis would not be terminal, despite having to undergo a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy. Many of Gloria’s former students were involved in her treatment, she shares that “It has been a source of comfort to know that my former students have impacted my life and the lives of others in so many meaningful ways during a time of need.”

Gloria has wasted no time after her treatment in returning to the local charitable scene. She finds joy in being with others who support their hometown, especially anything MTSU. She was the first African-American dean of an academic unit at MTSU and has been recognized throughout her career as a strong advocate for high academic standards at the university, state, regional and national levels. “As a teacher, fundamentally, once a teacher always a teacher,” Bonner said, “whether you’re educating people in the classroom or whether you’re educating them from an administrative position or whether you’re educating them in the community.”

Her dedication to education continues today and for the future. Since successfully completing chemotherapy Gloria now also pays it forward by assisting other breast cancer patients as they navigate the life changing experience of diagnosis, surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Her assistance and support provide a calming influence on the road to recovery and restoration. Gloria is driven each day to serve others and truly believes it is the ”sine qua non” for life.

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