Beverly Warren, director emerita of the Indiana University Bloomington Student Advocates Office, died Sunday, November 6, 2022. She was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, on May 12, 1933. Survivors include Donald Warren, her husband of 65 years, and sons William Wood Warren of New York City and Benjamin Loren Warren of Bloomington.
Surviving family members in Texas are Carol Warren Barker and husband David of Kerrville, Jeannette Kuhlman of Beaumont, Andrea Barker of Kerrville, Kelly (Barker) and Justin Webb of Rockwall, Kyle and Jenny Barker of Houston, Loren and Sis Singletary of Houston, Charles and Kay Singletary of Austin, Michael and Dorothy Fallin of Austin, Patrick and Christina Fallin of New Braunfels, Rick and Elizabeth Fallin of Garland, and numerous other relatives in Texas, California, and the upper Midwest. Preceding her in death were son Jonathan Barnett Warren, parents and in-laws Charles and Ruth Wood Alaniva and Loren H and Oma Chastain Warren, and sisters and in-laws Marian and L.B. Singletary and Dorothy and Bill Fallin.
A life-long learner, Beverly studied at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, Texas, where she grew up and attended public schools, moving to the University of Texas at Austin, to major in the liberal arts and human development for the BA and MA. She completed graduate courses at Austin Theological Seminary, Harvard University, where she was a research associate in the Palfrey House Laboratory of Human Development, The University of Chicago, and University of Maryland at College Park.
For 15 years she served on the faculty and as department chair of social and behavioral sciences in the Chicago City Colleges. Later, she joined the research team of the National Cancer Center in Washington, DC, advising doctors and patients seeking information on hospital treatment centers and new cancer research findings. The demanding work met with her determination to provide clear, reliable benefits in confidence, a growing need driving the early years of AIDS research and the development of treatment protocols.
Beverly sought out similar challenges as director of the Indiana University Student Advocates Office (SAO) from 1992-2001. She found almost boundless opportunities to help students facing academic, emotional, family, legal, and financial difficulties. Building on the foundational idea of preparing retired faculty to serve voluntarily as agents of student welfare, the SAO became a hub of IU administrators and teachers and local and state officials who could collaborate and consult as needed. She honed its growth into a sharp tool while ensuring survival of the broader goal: to serve students meaningfully. Under her leadership, the SAO gained staff, graduate assistants, and organizational definition, all focused tightly toward the essential purpose. Beverly functioned as director and advocate, taking on cases herself, often the complex ones, steering students through the tangle of institutional, legal, and social issues. Periodically, she offered graduate seminars on student advocacy through the School of Education. She spread word of this unique IU facility to other campuses in the U.S. and abroad at national and international conferences, and she welcomed visitors who had heard about the SAO and wanted to see it for themselves.
One of her particular interests was China, a country whose people she admired. Zhao Ping, a Visiting Scholar from Beijing, jointly taught with her and found ways to bring the SAO model to his own campus. That’s how she met Professor Chen Zheng, lectured in her classes, and became her lifelong friend. Beverly was a visiting speaker at universities across China. She enjoyed taking opportunities to spread details about the benefits of student advocacy. Her Chinese circle included research Professor Lei Qing, his wife Professor Yang Guang, their son Lei Tien Yang (known affectionately as “Tiger” because of his birth year), President Emeritus Zhao Ping, his wife Xiaomei, their daughter Yina, and Professor Zhao Tingting.
Beverly is accurately described as a world traveler, with emphasis on Asia, who nourished friendship and collaboration at every stop. Among the strengthened connections were grateful international alumni she first met when, as IU students, they sought SAO assistance.
A gracious host with an eager wit and lovely smile, she made friends easily, welcomed them to her home, loved to cook (was good at it), and collected cookbooks. Beverly enjoyed telling stories that elicited laughter, for her a healing balm, and had an endless supply of such tales.
She was a proud mother, inspiring her sons to think for themselves, not blink too often, and follow their dreams. Beverly was whip smart, read widely, carried her achievements with modesty, and permitted herself only wry smiles in the face of doubts cast on women’s rights. On the last point, on student welfare, and her own independence, she was adamant, if soft spoken.
As a senior in her Jacksonville, Texas, high school, Beverly was selected by a local civic club to represent the city as a duchess at the Neches River Festival in Beaumont, Texas. Over a long weekend, she met and danced with more boys than she could remember. One of them was the man she later married, who did remember. They met again as University of Texas students, and this time both took notice.
Following Beverly’s wishes, no public funeral is planned. A celebration of her life within the University will be held on a future date. Friends and well-wishers who want to honor her can send contributions to the IU Foundation designated for either the Beverly Warren Student Emergency Fund in the Student Advocates Office or the Beverly Warren Fellowship in Student Affairs, a graduate program in the School of Education. Both benefit students, Beverly’s never waning commitment.