Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

Welcome to the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

This endowed chair is named for Dr. Thomas C. and Janet M. Graul and is specifically designed to promote interdisciplinary approaches to arts and languages with a particular focus on international perspectives. At the University of Dayton, this includes Music; Art and Design; Theatre, Dance, and Performance Technology; and Global Languages and Culture. As we ask our students to use their intellectual gifts in the service of others, to adapt to a changing, dynamic global society, and to be just leaders, the importance of arts and languages becomes apparent. These disciplines engage us in questions about difference and enable us 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 empowers us to engage and transcend rather than dismiss that which is different, unfamiliar, and sometimes uncomfortable. These disciplines provide powerful tools to open our minds, engage our hearts, think creatively, 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.

During the 2013 through 2016 academic years, the University of Dayton was engaged in an important dialogue about the influences of the Arts and Languages on our culture. This Rites. Rights. Writes 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. Students engaged in Dayton Performing Arts Alliance performances by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dayton Opera, and the Dayton Ballet, with supplementary events and presentations related to each annual theme of the performances.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, Dr. Sharon Davis Gratto, Professor in the Department of Music, 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. Dr. Gratto’s theme for her work as Graul Chair is to continue to connect Arts and Languages at the University of Dayton to the campus, the community, and the world through collaborative interdisciplinary experiences in diverse locations.


Dr. Roger Crum, Department of Visual Arts

Dr. Eric Street, Department of Music

Prof. Sean Wilkinson, Department of Visual Arts

Dr. Richard Chenoweth, Department of Music

Fine and Performing Arts

Dayton Funk Symposium

Dayton has given the world the cash register, electric car starter and pop-top can, among other innovations. The city also helped fuel the 1970s funk music boom, with nearly a dozen Dayton bands on major record labels during the latter half of that decade, including the Ohio Players, Lakeside and Heatwave.

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The Arts at UD

Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1549