Giles Wilkeson Gray Lecture Series
The late Giles Wilkeson Gray, professor emeritus of the Department of Speech at LSU, was born in Shelbyville, Indiana, on December 11,1889. He received a B.A. from DePauw University in 1914, an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1923, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1926. After teaching at the University of Illinois and the University of Iowa, he came to the Department of Speech at LSU, where he remained until his retirement in 1960.
He held visiting professorships at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Georgia, St. Louis University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Gray was active in the Speech Association of America. He was a member of the council of the association from 1938 to 1944, editor of the Quarterly Journal of Speech from 1939 to 1941, and served as president of the Southern Speech Association from 1936 to 1937. One of his important contributions to the speech association was completion of the 50-year index to the Quarterly Journal of Speech and Speech Monographs. He published original scholarship in speech science, public address, speech education, parliamentary law, and linguistics.
While at LSU, he coauthored-with C. M. Wise the widely recognized Bases of Speech and with Waldo W. Braden-Public Speaking: Principles and Practice. He brought to his classes a broad knowledge of speech and its place in democratic society. In 1932 he established one of the early laboratories in speech science and experimental phonetics. He directed 37 theses and 14 dissertations.
Gray died August 27, 1972. His teaching and scholarship extended far beyond the department at LSU. As few others have done, he shaped an entire professional field, expanding its knowledge, directing its focus, and endowing its permanent values.