North Central College Professor of German Gregory H. Wolf has been named the first recipient of the Dennis and Jean Bauman Professorship in the Humanities. The College’s 13th endowed chair was formally presented on Thursday, Oct. 11, at a meeting of the faculty.
The late Dennis ’54 and Jean Ranson Bauman ’57 wanted to honor their alma mater and the important role of education in their lives by endowing an academic chair. Dennis Bauman was inspired in his career by North Central Professor Charles Hower ’27 and went on to become a teacher of Latin and German—reflecting Hower’s academic pursuits—at The University School of Milwaukee.
President Harold Wilde presented the honor and emphasized that Wolf’s impact on students made him deserving of the Bauman chair. “Students say that he transforms their lives and that’s a great thing,” Wilde told the faculty. “Dennis would say that he was transformed at North Central, too, and I know Jean couldn’t be more pleased with Greg’s selection.”
The chair was to be awarded to “an excellent teacher and scholar, preferably in a language, whose interests, spirit and impact on students parallel those of Hower and Bauman,” added Wilde.
“It is beyond my wildest dreams to receive such a recognition and I am sincerely grateful for it,” said Wolf. “More than just recognizing one individual, the Bauman endowed chair recognizes the commitment to teaching the Department of Modern and Classical Languages has demonstrated since I became a faculty member.”
Wolf came to North Central College in 2005 as an associate professor and was promoted to professor and granted tenure in 2011. In 2009, he won the Clarence F. Dissinger Award for Distinguished Teaching by a Senior Faculty Member. Wolf has distinguished himself for rebuilding the College’s German program, encouraging student research and conference participation, leading annual study trips to Germany and conducting extensive scholarly work in the field of German education.
He holds master’s and doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University in German Language and Literature and a bachelor of arts degree in German and history from The University of the South.