H.O. Grauel Classroom to be Dedicated Nov. 8 in Kent Library



Nov. 3, 2009 – Kent Library and the Southeast Missouri University Foundation will host a dedication of the H.O. Grauel Classroom: Information Literacy and Instructional Technology on Sunday, Nov. 8, from 2:30-4 p.m. on the main floor of Kent Library at Southeast Missouri State University.  This event is open to the public.

Dr. John Bierk, Southeast professor emeritus of English, made a gift to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation to make the classroom possible and to honor Grauel for his dedication to students and to the University. The classroom is located in the former Kent Library Little Theatre.

“I have such tremendous respect for Dr. Grauel,” Bierk said. “He was my major professor when I was an undergrad and later I taught with him until he retired.”

Bierk said he considers Grauel to be the very best teacher he ever had, surpassing those at Northwestern University and the University of Missouri, where he (Bierk) also studied.

“No professor had the kind of charisma and the ability to stimulate bigger and better things than Dr. Grauel,” Bierk said.

Ed Buis, director of Kent Library, says Bierk’s gift will be used to upgrade equipment in the classroom.

“There’s always the need for upgraded equipment, screens, projectors, computers, printers and the latest hardware,” he said. “Dr. Bierk’s gift will be used to ensure this room has state-of-the-art equipment.”

In the H.O. Grauel Classroom, Kent Library faculty will train students to be information literate through hands-on, experiential learning.  The Center for Scholarship in Teaching and Learning (CSTL) also will use the classroom to train Southeast faculty to use the latest technology in both face-to-face and virtual classrooms.

Bierk says Grauel “would be so pleased” to know a classroom has been named in his honor. After all, Bierk says, the classroom was where Grauel “did his very best work.”

Dr. Harold Oscar “H.O.” Grauel devoted 43 years to Southeast Missouri State University and the Cape Girardeau community. He grew up in Ohio and moved to Cape Girardeau after college to teach at Southeast Missouri State University (formerly Southeast Missouri State  Teachers College and Southeast Missouri State College). He was an English professor from 1928 until his retirement in 1971.  He died in 1995.

Grauel wrote anonymous articles for the Capaha Arrow, the forerunner to the Arrow, in a column entitled “Out of the Dome.”  He also served as advisor to the Capaha Arrow and the Sagamore yearbook staff, as well as a public speaker for the University radio station and the Cape Girardeau KFVS radio network.  In 1992, Bierk edited a collection of Grauel’s essays entitled “The Inimitable Professor H.O. Grauel: His Essays on This and That.”

Grauel was an avid photographer, documenting a vast amount of University history through his photographs and slides.  His career at Southeast Missouri State University spanned some 40 years of devotion to the ideals of education. The Language Arts building at the University, built in 1975, is named in his honor, as well as an annual lecture series that began in 1996.