The department that eventually included the division of Radio, Television and Film started out in 1901 as the Department of Public Speaking. It was renamed the Department of Oratory in 1908, and was again renamed the Department of English and Public Speaking in 1914. From 1918 to 1936, it reverted to its original “Department of Public Speaking”. 1936 brought with it a name-change to the Department of Speech. And then, in 1948, the department was renamed the Department of Speech and Dramatic Art, which was the name of the department when I was hired.
The Chairs were Charles Richardson (1901-1940), Raymond Ehrensberger (1940-1953), Warren Strausbaugh (1953-1970), Thomas Aylward (1970-1983)*, Patti Gillespie (1983-1989)*, Edward Fink (1997-2007) and Elizabeth Toth (2007-).
During the periods marked with an asterisk, Irving Linkow, Andrew Wolvin, James Klumpp, and Martha Watson filled the position as “Acting Chair”.
I interviewed with and was hired by Tom Aylward. A contributor to my information search mentions “Dean Aylward” as heading the department as the first tube-type 2″ quad machines were brought in. Their purpose was to provide pre-recorded classes in English and Math.