Since its inception in 1996 as a part of the City of Dayton’s bicentennial celebration, the Dayton Region Walk of Fame has recognized individuals and groups for their outstanding and enduring personal or professional contributions to the community, nation and the world. The Walk of Fame honors them by setting memorial stones in the sidewalks of Dayton’s historic Wright Dunbar District. The stones can be enjoyed year-round on West Third Street between Broadway and Shannon and on North and South Williams Streets.
“We have another year of outstanding inductees,” said Harry Seifert, president and CEO of Wright Dunbar, Inc. “They are all excellent examples of the exceptional people who made great strides in their personal lives and have remembered the Miami Valley as their home.”
The 2022 class of inductees are:
Phyllis G. Bolds (1932 – 2018) an African American woman, was internationally known in the field of aircraft dynamics. Known as Phyllis Allen, she was a member of the High School National Honor Society and Valedictorian of her 1950 graduation class at Dunbar High School. She was the recipient of the first ever Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Debutante Scholarship. In 1954 she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. She furthered her education by earning a Master’s of Science in Computer Science from the University of Dayton and a Middle Management Program Masters from Simmons Women’s College in Boston. Mrs. Bolds began her career as a physicist with the United States Air Force in November 1955. While working at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, her achievements were numerous and astounding and included the publication of 30 technical documents. Bolds worked at Wright-Patterson’s flight dynamic laboratory from 1957 until her retirement in 1987. She succeeded in a field that, at that time, was predominately male and she always remarked that she did not allow that to bother her. Bolds also said that one of the most important Air Force scientific achievements she worked on was with the over 40,000 scientists, scholars, and experts on the design, development and deployment of the B-2 Stealth Bomber.
Neal Gittleman (1955 – ) Artistic Director and Conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, has given the Dayton region a world-class orchestra and educational programming for almost three decades. One of his initiatives was the development of the Stained Glass Concert Series which brings the orchestra to Dayton’s African American community through concerts at neighborhood churches and in conjunction with the church’s choir. Mr. Gittleman was a supporter and leader in the merger of the Dayton Philharmonic, Dayton Ballet, and Dayton Opera into the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. The merger significantly broadened those organizations’ reach and offerings through collaborative efforts. Gittleman initiated the SPARK program (School Partners with Artists Reaching Kids) which integrates the orchestra’s musicians with eight area schools’ musical curriculum. Although Mr. Gittleman has spent the last 27 years in Dayton, he has conducted many of the country’s leading orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Chicago, San Francisco, Minnesota, Phoenix, Indianapolis, San Antonio, and Omaha Symphony Orchestras; and the Buffalo Philharmonic. He has also conducted in Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, and Mexico.
Roger Glass (1943 – ) is a pillar of the Dayton business and philanthropic community. As president and CEO of Marion’s Piazza, his focus on quality and consistency has created a recipe for success that has earned both national and local recognition. He is a caring leader serving as a mentor and guide to junior employees and is generous with his time and his investment in people. Glass was a founding board member of Aids Resource Center Ohio, now Equitas Health, and championed the rights and dignity of those affected by HIV/AIDS from the early 1980s on. He has been instrumental in creating an organization that focuses on care support, funding, and education for those living with the disease. Mr. Glass is an ardent supporter of Chaminade Julienne High School and the University of Dayton serving on boards and committees for both organizations. Glass believes in the power of learning and his business acumen provides vision, structure, and direction for the non-profits he serves. He also is a frequent supporter of numerous local arts organizations. His philanthropy in Dayton is not for any recognition but is truly a gift of sincerity and from the heart.
A.B. Graham (1868 – 1960) a native of Champaign County, Ohio is considered the founding father of 4-H programs which serve youth in rural, suburban and urban communities in every state in America. In 1902 Graham began holding Boys and Girls Agriculture Club meetings in the basement of a building in Springfield, Ohio. These meetings were the precursor to 4-H. In 1905 Mr. Graham became the first superintendent of Agricultural Extension at The Ohio State University. He would later serve in the Extension office in Farmingdale, NY and nationally in Washington D.C. as the Federal Extension Director. It was the Extension Service development that made it possible for the “agricultural clubs” to be unified and nationalized as the official 4-H program in 1916. Graham was an enthusiastic teacher of values of rural and farm living. Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio is named for him.
Sharon Rab (1946 – ) writer and educator, is the founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an award known throughout the world to recognize Dayton’s role in cultivating international peace and the outstanding individuals who have done so. Rab taught English at both Kettering Fairmont High School and Miami University, Oxford. She earned her BA in English at Miami University and Master of Education in Curriculum and Supervision at Wright State University. Rab was inducted into the Chester Roush Educational Hall of Fame and the Montgomery County Public Education Academy of Excellence. She has served on numerous local, state, and national boards in the areas of arts, literature and education, including the Dayton Council on World Affairs and the Dayton Peace Process Committee. Rab has also been the executive director of the Muse Machine’s Creative Education Institute. For 20 years Rab produced and hosted Writer 2 Writer, a cable television show in which she interviewed hundreds of local, national and international authors. In 2007 she was named one of the Top Ten Women in Dayton.
Guided By Voices (1983 – ) described as “forefathers of lo-fi rock,” Guided By Voices was founded by lead singer Rob Pollard, a Dayton native and Wright State University graduate. For over 30 years, this independent band has released 35 albums and has sold thousands of records on private labels. The group has maintained a massive cult following all over the world and has been praised as very influential by music publications including Spin, Harp, Magnet and Rolling Stone magazines, and MTV. The band made several television appearances including stints on Austin City Limits, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and Late Show with David Letterman. They also played on the X-Fest stage in Dayton in 1996 and 1999. The band continues to play and release albums with its latest album Crystal Nuns Cathedral released March 4, 2022.
The 2022 Inductee Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, October 12 at Sinclair Community College Conference Center in Building 12. Tickets for the event are available now with details on the Walk of Fame website at www.daytonregionwalkoffame.org.