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Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

Our History

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.

Endowed Chairs for the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

Suki Kwon

Suki Kwon's goals as the Endowed Chair for the Graul Chair in Arts and Languages are to increase the visibility of international arts and languages on campus, which will surely enhance students’ intercultural competence and advance their awareness of diversity; to bring the arts and languages to the core of the College’s interdisciplinary curriculum; to promote strong and consistently offered non-Western European education-abroad programs that foreground the arts and languages; to utilize the new Roger Glass Center for the Arts as a hub for interdisciplinary and international arts and languages public programming; and to collaborate with colleagues within the University as well as neighboring universities and local organizations to bring public programming to Dayton.

Faculty profile

Sharon Gratto

Sharon Davis Gratto was the first woman and fifth faculty member to be appointed to the Graul Chair position. She is Professor of Music, Director of the World Music Choir and immediate past Graul Endowed Chair in Arts and Languages in the College of Arts and Sciences, a position she held for five years.

Dr. Gratto came to the University of Dayton in 2008 from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania to be chair of the Department of Music, a position she held for nine years. While at Gettysburg, Dr. Gratto was Music Education Coordinator, a conductor of several choral ensembles, and founder and director for nine years of the Gettysburg Children's Choir. Most of her K-12 music teaching was in International Schools in Germany, Spain, and Nigeria. At UD, Dr. Gratto has taught courses and supervised student teachers in the Music Education degree program, taught Eurhythmics for Music Therapy majors, and continues to direct the World Music Choir.

Dr. Gratto is a graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, American University, the State University of New York at Potsdam, and Catholic University and earned a Certificate in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from Carnegie Mellon University. She has performed as a free-lance flutist in the Washington, D.C. area and sung professionally in church music positions, with the Washington Bach Consort, and with the Washington Opera, Summer Opera Theatre at Catholic University, Washington Concert Opera, the Wolf Trap Opera. She was Founder and Director for three years of the Capitol Flute Consort.

Dr. Gratto served the American Choral Directors Association for ten years as State (Pennsylvania and Ohio), Eastern Division, and National Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives, and she is Editor of a Global Music choral series for Pavane Publishing. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and an Emerita Founding Trustee of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. She was honored with Oberlin College Conservatory's Music Education Alumni Award in 2008, the College of Arts and Sciences' Outstanding Service Award in 2014, and the University's Service Award in 2019.

Dayton Funk Symposium

Faculty profile

Richard Chenoweth

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. 

Between 2013 and 2016, 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.

Learn more about RRW 2013-14

Learn more about RRW 2014-15

Learn more about RRW 2015-16

Faculty profile

Sean Wilkinson

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 MFA 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 BFA 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

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 M.M. and D.M. 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

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

Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

O'Reilly Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1549