History of the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

The Graul Chair in the Arts and Languages is named in honor of the commitment to the University of Thomas C. and Janet M. Graul. Dr. Graul, a 1951 graduate of UD, was a plastic surgeon in private practice in Dayton until he retired in 1995. He maintained an international interest in his service activities, and he and Mrs. Graul each pursued the study of foreign languages. The endowment is designed to promote interdisciplinary approaches to the arts and languages with a particular focus on international perspectives. These disciplines engage people in questions about difference as well as enable them to celebrate and embrace those differences.

The transcendent power of arts and languages is such that the whole person is both engaged and educated. The study of arts and languages gives us powerful tools to open our minds and engage our hearts. We develop the capacity to transcend that which is different or unfamiliar and find the common core of our humanity. Such study is essential to any university that aspires to educate the whole person and produce distinctive graduates who are capable of linking learning to responsible leadership and service.

Current Chair: Sharon Davis Gratto

In August 2017, Dr. Sharon Davis Gratto, Professor in the department of music, became the fifth Graul Chair in Arts and Languages. Dr. Gratto brings her international experience, professional work in world music, and ties to Dayton-area performing arts organizations to support the First-Year Experience and to develop new initiatives in the arts and languages. 

Past Chairs

Richard Chenoweth: 2012-2016

Dr. Richard Chenoweth held the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages from 2012 to 2016. Now emeritus, he served as Professor of Horn in the department of music. He is the former principal horn of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, a position that he held for 33 years. He was a member of the nationally known brass quintet, the Carillon Brass, and performed as second horn with the orchestra of the prestigious summer music festival, The Santa Fe Opera, for 35 years. He has performed and recorded as a soloist both in this country and internationally, and has performed in the horn sections of the Florida Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Ballet of London and the Little Orchestra Society of New York. 

During the 2013 through 2016 academic years, Chenoweth promoted an important dialogue about the influences of the Arts and Languages on our culture. This Rites. Rights. Writes. (RRW) initiative strove to pull a myriad of distinct and diverse topics of study, research and presentations into a common theme to be shared across the campus community. The initiative established a new First-Year Experience for incoming students enrolled in the Humanities Commons course.

Faculty Profile >

Learn more about RRW 2013-14 > 

Learn more about RRW 2014-15 >

Learn more about RRW 2015-16 >

Sean Wilkinson: 2009-2012

Sean Wilkinson held the position of Graul Chair in Arts and Languages from 2009 to 2012. He is now a professor emeritus in the department of art and design. An established photographer, Wilkinson had the good fortune to work closely with three of the greatest photographers and teachers of the second half of the twentieth century: Minor White, Harry Callahan, and Aaron Siskind. Upon completing his M.F.A. at the Rhode Island School of Design, Wilkinson taught at Harvard University before accepting a position in 1973 at the University of Dayton, where he was hired to create and develop an entirely new course of study in photography. In addition to establishing B.A. and B.F.A. programs that have earned national reputations, Wilkinson has sustained an active career as a photographer.

Wilkinson’s photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the country. He has won numerous awards and grants, and his work is in many significant museum, individual and corporate collections. Wilkinson also served as chair of the Department of Visual Arts for seven years from 1992-1999 and has taught in the University’s study abroad program in Florence, Rome, Athens, and London.

Faculty Profile >

Eric Street: 2004-2008

Eric Street served as the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages from 2004 to 2008. Street is Professor of Music and coordinates keyboard studies at the University of Dayton. He joined the University faculty after teaching at Indiana University, the University of California (Santa Barbara) and Bethany College, where he was the youngest faculty member to be appointed Distinguished Professor. He earned his MM and DM at Indiana University School of Music under Menahem Pressler, with additional study in Vienna under Paul Badura-Skoda.

As tour leader and interpreter he has led numerous student and adult groups to Aix en Provence, Athens, Dublin, Florence, London, Paris, Sicily, and Vienna. He holds certificates in German and Italian.

Faculty Profile >

Roger Crum: Inaugural Chair

In October 2000, Roger J. Crum became the first Graul Chair in Arts and Languages. Crum is Professor of Art History and Liaison for Global and Intercultural Initiatives at the University of Dayton. In addition to serving as the first Graul Chair, he has directed numerous education abroad programs in Italy, and received the Outstanding Teaching Award of the College of Arts and Sciences. A member of CAA since 1987, Crum has chaired the Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award Committee and volunteered several times as a CAA Career Development Mentor to young professionals in art history and studio art.

Teaching in the department of art and design, with colleagues in both studio and art history disciplines, Crum offers courses ranging from introductory surveys and general education courses to upper-level seminars in late medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and modern subjects as well as the history of architecture and art history methodology. He is also a collaborator with the School of Engineering and the School of Business Administration, most recently co-teaching an engineering design seminar and a course on the art of business and the business of art.

Faculty Profile >

Find Us

Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

Humanities 466 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1549