Professor inspired photographer

It’s wonderful how one little sentence at the bottom of a page can trigger memories! Page 22 of the (Fall 2013) RIT magazine asked, “Was there a faculty member who made a difference in your life?”

Indeed, there were many great faculty members in the photography department who both inspired and trained, but the one person who made the greatest influence on my life was not involved in photography.

During the winter quarter of 1969, I enrolled in the elective public speaking. I’m afraid that after nearly 45 years, I do not remember details about the instructor. (I believe his name was Mr. Gray or maybe Mr. Grey.) He kept the class energetic and interesting at all times—much the same as a good speech.

As a result of that class, and his inspiration, I have been able to speak before groups, large and small, with ease and confidence.

Techniques learned for organizing my thoughts in preparation for speaking are equally useful in the field of writing, which became a major part of my professional life.

So, to this fine gentleman go my everlasting thanks. His teaching was the foundation for a great deal of enjoyment in my life.

Editor’s note: Email us at if you know this professor. (A man named Ralph Gray taught at RIT from 1949-1976.)