Biographical / Historical
Gladys Jane Swift was born on Dec. 3, 1924, the daughter of Mary and Harley Swift then of Cincinnati, Ohio. While a student in Withrow High School Gladys Jane Swift also took classes at the Cincinnati Institute of Fine Arts and was chosen as a member of the Withrow Players. Gladys entered Middlebury College in the fall of 1942, and was known as “Swifty”. Much of her time and interest at Middlebury were devoted to theater, and she selected and directed a one-act play for Middlebury High School students in her junior year. Because of the strictures of World War II, she and her class were graduated in February of 1946. In the summer of 1945 she worked at the Plymouth Drama Festival (Plymouth, MA).
While a student, Gladys Jane Swift carried on voluminous correspondence with young men in the armed services. Two of these, James Anderegg and Warren Woirol, were friends from Cincinnati, while several others were Middlebury students. The collection includes letters from 21 named individuals, as well as 4 identified by first name only. Nine of the correspondents are associated with Middlebury College. The letters in this series are strictly from these servicemen to Gladys Jane Swift.
Gladys Jane Swift’s extensive experience and devotion to theatre influenced her career in broadcasting, public relations, directorships in several community and charitable organizations, as well as board memberships in Girl Scouts, Visiting Nurse, Senior Center Institute and many others in Harrisburg, PA, where she lived for many years. She died in 2011.