Abstract The topic of this paper is Gallaudet University, specifically the history of the institution, important players, major events and how the institution has evolved into what we know it as today.
This is an important topic to understand as Student Affairs professionals, because we work with a diverse student population. Also, Gallaudet is the only four year, liberal arts university for the deaf in the world. It is important to have some knowledge of deaf culture in order to communicate and serve deaf students more effectively.
The goal of this paper is to understand Gallaudet University, the goals behind the institution and the role it plays in the advancement of deaf people everywhere.
Introduction Gallaudet University is home to the first football “huddle” and has earned many athletic accolades including the 1943 Men’s Basketball Mason-Dixon Tournament Championship, 1999 Women’s Basketball Capital Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship and competed in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA III National Tournament. In 2005, the football team had a 9-0 winning season and in 2006 the Women’s Volleyball team made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA III National Tournament with a 30-10 regular season record (Gallaudet University, 2010). While these accomplishments alone are impressive in the university athletic arena, these events are even more significant because these titles are all held by deaf and hard of hearing students at Gallaudet University. Gallaudet University is the only four-year, liberal arts university for the deaf in the world, and the topic of this research paper. This paper will discuss Gallaudet University, the history of the institution, how it has changed over the years, how it has aided in the development and progression of deaf people and culture, and why it is such an important place of learning and development for the deaf community as a whole.
What is Gallaudet?
Gallaudet University is located in Washington D.C. and is home to approximately 1,800 students, five percent of which are hearing. One important goal of the institution is to “prepare its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive technological and rapidly changing world” (Gallaudet University, 2010). This goal is clearly reflected in the institution’s mission statement. Gallaudet University strives to maintain “a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world” (Gallaudet University, 2010). More so, in the university’s vision statement, the goals for its future are clearly outlined. The focus in this statement is on “empowering graduates with the knowledge and practical skills vital to achieving personal and professional success in the changing local and global communities in which they live and work” (Gallaudet, 2010). Further Gallaudet’s statement emphasizes its constant “strive to become the leading international resource for research, innovation and outreach related to deaf and hard of hearing people” (Gallaudet University, 2010). These two missions truly reflect the environment that is created at Gallaudet University.
Academic Courses and Programs
Gallaudet University offers 40 undergraduate and 30 graduate programs. Students can earn their bachelor’s in a variety of subjects including; accounting, history, government, photography, interpretation, social work, theatre and much more. Graduate programs include Special Education Administration, Mental Health Counseling, Deaf Education, Linguistics and more. Gallaudet University is an accredited university that aims to prepare its students for life after graduation (Gallaudet University, 2010).
Students have the opportunity to stay enrolled at the university over the summer and take part in the College of Professional Studies and Outreach (CPSO) which is a “comprehensive array of exemplary personal and professional development, leadership, and outreach programs and services for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, their families, communities, and professionals working with them across the globe” (CPSO, 2010). One class offered through this program is the American Sign Language (ASL) I-VI course. This course is specifically encouraged for parents, family members, professionals or anyone else who may be interested in learning ASL. The class meets two to three times a week during the summer session. The class will even “travel” to prospective students if they submit a request and live nearby. Other services offered for students of Gallaudet through this program include online courses, a bullying prevention development course and a leadership institute (CPSO, 2010).
Gallaudet makes great strides to ensure that students succeed both in and out of the university. One way this is accomplished is through the University’s Career Center, which helps students receive internships that “provide a wealth of experiential learning opportunities” (Career Center, 2010). Some of these internships recently held by students include Merrill Lynch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institution of Health and the World Bank. Additionally, while the university has an academic commitment, it has a research commitment as well. Gallaudet researches in areas that will benefit both the deaf and hard of hearing community as a whole and they are not limited to the students they serve. However, to obtain a better understanding of the institution, it is important to understand the history of Gallaudet University, it’s journey and how it developed into the institution that is know around the world today.
Foundation of the University
Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet
The numerous and crucial contributions Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet contributed to the American Sign Language and Deaf culture play an important role in the success of Gallaudet University. Gallaudet was born on December 10, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and moved to Hartford, Connecticut at the age of 13. Gallaudet started his collegiate career two years later at Yale and graduated at the young age of 18 (Crouch, 1989). He then began law school, but due to an illness, he was forced to drop out. Gallaudet later returned to Yale in 1808 as a graduate student, where he worked as a tutor and earned his Masters of Arts degree. After receiving his degree he moved to New York City to settle into life as a clerk. Two years later Gallaudet decided to become a minister and enrolled in Andover College. He was later ordained in 1814 at the age of 27 (Daniels, 1997).
During Gallaudet’s time at Andover College he met Alice Cogswell, the deaf daughter of his neighbor. Cogswell captivated Gallaudet; some speculate this may have been caused by the fact that she was the first deaf person he had ever encountered. As such, Gallaudet began to research educating deaf students. Specifically, he researched publications that were put out by Abbe Sicard, an educator to deaf students in France (Crouch, 19890. Through reading Sicard’s publications, Gallaudet applied his knowledge and taught Cogswell how to communicate. Interestingly, the first word that Gallaudet taught Cogswell was “hat” (DeGering, 1981, p. 44). After Gallaudet had successfully taught Cogswell her first word, the two proudly showed this accomplishment to her father. His reaction was described as a mixture of “astonishment, joy and love” (Degering, 1981, p. 44). This accomplishment was even more astounding because her father explained that although he had tried, he was unable to teach his daughter that objects had names attached to them. To him, Gallaudet had done the impossible.
Through Gallaudet’s time spent with Cogswell, he learned she had become deaf at the age of two as the result of a high fever. With the help of Dr. Cogswell, Gallaudet further realized there were no schools dedicated to primarily deaf education in the United States. Mrs. Cogswell, Alice’s mother explained to Gallaudet, “there are no schools for deaf children in America” (DeGering, 1981, p. 44). Her parents thought that their only choice was to send Cogswell to England to attend an oral school. However, they refrained from doing so because they believed she was too young to be so far away from home. Subsequently, Gallaudet and Dr. Cogswell worked together in the hopes of creating a school for the deaf in the United States. Gallaudet would traveled to Europe to develop their educational methods with hopes to later bring them back to the states to help create a school (Daniels, 1997).
Voyage for Deaf Education
On May 25, 1815 Gallaudet left for Europe. He began his journey in England, and then moved on to Scotland. He did not have much success until he met with Abbe Sicard, a superintended of a deaf school in France, and his students Jean Massieu and Laurent Clerc. After Sicard spoke with Gallaudet, he invited him to come to France to learn and study his methods Gallaudet studied in France for a year before heading back to the states (Crouch, 1989). However, Gallaudet did not return alone. Laurent Clerc, Abbe Sicard’s student, agreed to go to the United States and help Gallaudet create and teach at a school for deaf students. The two arrived in Connecticut in 1816 and began a seven-month speaking tour in order to raise money for the new school (Daniels, 1997, p. 49).
First American School for the Deaf
Finally on April 15, 1817 the first permanent school for the deaf in America was opened in Hartford, Connecticut. Gallaudet was named principal and Clerc was appointed head teacher (Van Cleave, 1993). During Gallaudet’s time as principal, he met and courted his future wife Sophia Fowler. They were married on August 29, 1821 and later had a son, Edward Miner Gallaudet (Daniels, 1997).
Edward had no intention of working with deaf students. In fact, he decided not to attend college and pursue a career in banking. However, when Edward’s father died, he made the decision to go back to school. The sitting principal at the time, Principal Weld, offered Edward a position at the school his father created, the American School in Hartford. Edward also attended Trinity College during his tenure as a part time teacher. During this time, Edward began thinking about creating a place of higher education for deaf people (Daniels, 1997).
Edward was then asked by Amos Kendall to be the superintendent of a new elementary school for the deaf and blind in Washington, D.C. Amos thought the D.C. area would be “an ideal place for the special college” (DeGering, 1981, p. 156). Edward agreed but only if “the usual selection in the schools by laws, limiting pupil attendance to a certain number of years, be permitted” (DeGering, 1981, p. 156). He believed with the “attendance hazard removed”(DeGering, 1981, p. 157), he could help students from the elementary school ages throughout high school. After accomplishing a new attendance standard, Edward believed he could assist students in realizing the importance of a college education.
History of the Institution
The beginning of Gallaudet University can be traced back to 1856. Two acres of land in Washington D.C. were donated by Kendall; a Dartmouth graduate, journalist and politician. He donated the land to “establish a school and housing for 12 deaf and six blind students”(History of Gallaudet University, 2010). One year later after donating the land, Kendall lobbied Congress to “incorporate" the school. It was then named the Columbia Institution for the Deaf Dumb and Blind (History of Gallaudet University, 2010).
After serving five years at the Columbia Institute, Edward began to formulate ideas for an institution of higher education for deaf students. On March 15, 1864 a bill was introduced to Congress, permitting the school to confer college degrees. Ultimately, the bill was passed and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln and on April 8, 1864 the school was chartered as the National College for the Deaf and Dumb (Gallaudet, 1983). Edward was elected as the college’s first president and stayed in that position until 1910. During that time, Congress gave the school roughly $66,000 in order to expand and construct new buildings. Congress also eliminated blind education at the school and moved it to the Maryland Institution. Following these changes, the Columbia Institute began to educate its students past the secondary level (Gallaudet, 1983).
In 1864, with the approval of Congress, the school began to confer degrees. Edward Miner was named the president of the college and institution. At the time, the school had only eight students enrolled. In June 1869, three men received their diplomas during the school’s first commencement ceremony. President Ulysses S. Grant signed their diplomas. Subsequently, the current sitting president signs today all degrees from this institution (History of Gallaudet, 2010).
Women at Gallaudet
Until 1881, the only students enrolled in the university were deaf and hard of hearing men. In fact, the concept of even enrolling women was not discussed until January 11, 1881 during a faculty meeting (Boatner, 1959, p. 113). However, the suggestion to admit females was tabled for the time because “the faculty showed no disposition to change the policy of the college which declines to admit ladies” (Boatner, 1959, p. 114). It is recorded even Gallaudet was opposed to the idea. However, at the 1886 California convention, one woman gave a speech urging the faculty and staff to consider allowing women to be educated at the same institution as men.
The Western Association of the College Alumnae was the first organization to endorse the advocacy of equal education for women. Additionally, they advocated, “women (should) be permitted to share the advantages that the young men had” (Boatner, 1959, p.114). Between the years of 1881 and 1886, the faculty and staff position of admitting women began to “soften” and as such, a few women were admitted to the university “as an experiment” (Boatner, 1959, p. 114). Advocating for the “experiment” (Boatnet, 1959, p.114) exercise, when Gallaudet retired in 1885 he asked the Board to begin admitting a few women. He also suggested these women be housed in the President’s Home that was located on campus.
Throughout the “experiment” (Boatner, 1959, p. 116) of co-educational learning environment, Gallaudet found educating the two genders together had “favorable influence” (Boatner, 1959, p. 116). By 1888, eight women were enrolled in the institution and the numbers continued to grow. The first woman to receive her degree was Agnes Tiegal in 1893. It was not until 1916, however, that the women received their own residence hall; named Sophia Fowler Hall after Gallaudet’s wife. Gallaudet did not go through its next major change until 1954 when the institution received its first name change and became Gallaudet College after Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.
1969 is noted as a “time of expansion” (History of Gallaudet University, 2010) for education for the deaf community and education. On October 15, 1969 President Lyndon Johnson singed the act to create the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). That same year, Leonard Elstad, who was the current president of Gallaudet University and secretary for the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare signed an agreement to “authorize and establish” (History of Gallaudet, 2010) an MSSD on the Gallaudet campus. The MSSD is now located at the eastern end of the Gallaudet University campus and is a four-year high school program for deaf and hard of hearing students from the United States.
Students at the MSSD are “expected to graduate ready for the challenges of adult life” (Model Secondary School for the Deaf, 2010). The goal of this program is to “provide students with an academically rigorous program so they will become self-directed, independent, resourceful learners who demonstrate essential knowledge, literacy, and the social and communication skills necessary to be effective, productive, and contributing members of society” (Model Secondary School for the Deaf, 2010).
One year later, President Richard Nixon signed a bill that authorizing the establishment of Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES). Today, KDES is a day school serving students from birth through age 15. The program begins with the Parent-Infant Program and ends with the 8th grade. It serves students primarily in the Washington, D.C., area. The goal of KDES is to “provide students with an academically rigorous program so they will become self-directed, independent, resourceful learners who demonstrate essential knowledge, literacy, and the social and communication skills necessary to be effective, productive, contributing members of society” (Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, 2010).
This is accomplished through aiding students’ development of becoming “active learners” (Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, 2010) by encouraging students to be active in class, ask questions, find answers and work with others to spread the information that they have learned. The underlying philosophy of this program concludes through active learning students will be more involved, feel a connection with the school, and prompt curiosity and search for knowledge. Both of these schools are part of Gallaudet’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center and are devoted to the “creation and dissemination of educational opportunities for deaf students nationwide” (Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, 2010).
In October of 1986 Gallaudet College was granted university status, and thus renamed Gallaudet University by Congress. Two years later, in March of 1988 the Deaf President Now movement (DPN) led to the appointment of the first deaf president for the university, Dr. I. King Jordan. In the same year, the university had its first deaf Board of Trustee’s chair. Notably, both of these leaders were alumni of the university. Deaf President Now was an important and integral part of the institution’s history and deaf culture. “Since then, DPN has become synonymous with self-determination and empowerment for deaf and hard of hearing people everywhere” (Gallaudet University, 2010).
Deaf Way I and II
Aside from the education of its students, Gallaudet is dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of the deaf community as a whole. On way that this has been accomplished is through hosting the Deaf Way I and II Conference. In 1987, the idea of bringing deaf people together to celebrate their culture and be proud of whom they are took form at this conference. Past president of the university, I. King Jordan, notes Deaf Way I came into existence when a group of people at Gallaudet discussed their personal conference experiences. Ultimately, the group concluded deaf conferences had a main focus on “problems” of the deaf (Shettle, 2002) and “how to help deaf people" (Shettle, 2002). In contrast, those who created Deaf Way I wanted to diverge from previous conference themes and facilitate “a conference in which ideas would be exchanged, but that would also celebrate the accomplishments of deaf people” (Shettle, 2002).
Deaf Way I
The first Deaf Way occurred in 1989 at Gallaudet University. Its goal was to “break the mold” (Shettle, 2002) of previous deaf conferences. Over 6,000 deaf people from all over the country and world gathered to celebrate deaf culture and the successes of deaf people (Shettle, 2002). The underlying message of this event was deaf people can do anything (Shettle, 2002). One crucial and monumental aspect of Deaf Way I is the “to-do lists” that conference attendees composed. One example on the goal list was to “go home and insure that the government increases education and job opportunities, or to go back to school to get a degree and establish a business" (Shettle, 2002). These goals were made so that participants would be empowered to make a difference, and leave the conference with a commitment to stay “active” (Gallaudet University, 2010) and to “keep the spirit of Deaf Way alive” (Shettle, 2002). The first Deaf Way so successful that “the many demands from former participants from around the world for another Deaf Way were the inspiration for Deaf Way II” (Shettle, 2002).
Deaf Way II
The second Deaf Way occurred July 8th through the 13th in 2002. With an estimated 9,700 in attendance, the conference was vastly larger than Deaf Way I. Many workshops were held at this event including “advocacy and community development; economics; education; family; health and mental health; history; language and culture; literature; recreation, leisure, and sports; sign language and interpretation; technology; and youth” (Shettle, 2002). These 12 main categories were the overheads under which the 300-plus presentations were organized. Beyond workshops, other participant activities included the arts and culture festival, a nightly club and teen and children camps. Conference Committee Chair Mike Kemp stated that his goal for the conference was to “exchange scholarly information, and my personal goal is for participants to have their own follow-up activities in their own countries," (Shettle, 2002). The conference was successful, and one that had a lasting effect on all of its participants.
Deaf President Now
The most significant and memorable event at Gallaudet University was Deaf President Now. This was the name given to the protest that ensured after Elisabeth Zinser was appointed as the 8th president on March 6 1988. The protest began because Zinser was hearing and the students and Deaf community believed that after 124 years it was time for the university to be run by a Deaf person (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
Students on campus knew that the university was in search for a new president. A week before the official announcement was to be made students began organizing in anticipation of the outcome. The final three candidates consisted of two Deaf people and one hearing person. The student body was certain that one of the Deaf candidates would be named to the position, as they were both highly qualified. The first official rally was held on March 1, 1988, which sparked a large amount of students to get involved with the fight for a Deaf president. Organizers of the rally also compared this fight to the fight for civil rights by other minority groups. This helped them gain about a thousand participants (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
Over the next four days students began camping out on campus, and holding other rallies. All of these actions were to protest Zinser even being considered for the position of president. The student body president at the time even wrote her a letter asking her to remove herself from consideration. Lastly, during this time the media began hearing about the activities happening related to finding a new president. One reporter and camera crew arrived on campus to get a better picture of what was happening with the students. Finally on March 5 1988 final interviews began in a hotel off campus. Students and community members eagerly awaited the announcement of the new president, which was scheduled to take place the next day at 8pm (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
A Week of Protests
As the public waited for the Board of Trustees decision to be delivered they were caught off guard when at 6:30pm, an hour and a half early the University’s Public Relations Office handed out press releases announcing Zinser as the 8th president. All of campus was in disbelief at the outcome (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009). A group of protesters decided that they deserved an explanation from the search committee so they traveled to the Mayflower Hotel where the board was meeting. While there the members of the rally spoke with Spilman and other member of the Board. At the end of the meeting Zinser agreed to go to campus the next day to discuss her appointment as president (Christiansen & Barnartt, 1995).
After meeting with the Board of Trustees multiple students and protesters met during the night in order to plan the best strategies to combat the decision that was made. Their plan began with cars being driven to the entrances of campus and deflating their tires so that no one would have the ability to get in or out of the university. Other students began to for a human chain to also not allow people access to the campus. There were also multiple unplanned speeches and rallies that occurred throughout the day (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
The most important event that came out of March 7, 1988 was the meeting of protesters and the Board of Trustees that allowed the protesters to outline there formalized demand. The four demands stated that Zinser must resign and a Deaf president appointed, Spilman must resign from her position on the Board of Trustees, the Board must be made up of at least 51% Deaf members and lastly there must be no punishment given to those members of the university that participated in the protest. After laying out their demands and meeting for over 3 hours the board ultimately rejected the demands. It was after these events that the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement began gaining media attention (Christiansen & Barnartt, 1995).
As day 3 of the protest came about things became more organized due to the creation of the DPN Council, which was made up of students, staff, faculty, alumni liaisons, an interpreter, coordinators for fundraising, legal liaisons and the media. This group began meeting at the Alumni House, later referred to as headquarters. Four students emerged as the faces of this group, Bridgetta Bourne, Jerry Cowel, Greg Hilbok and Tim Rarus (website). As DPN became more organized they also began using different, very successful tactics to get their point across. Even though they reopened the campus entrances, that did not mean that students and staff were fulfilling their usually roles. The majority of students boycotted classes and few faculty members even attempted to teach their courses. There were multiple rallies and speeches given throughout the day. A group of faculty even met to discuss what role they should play during this time of unrest. By the end of the day the students’ and community’s effort had led to the protest reaching national attention (Christiansen & Barnartt, 1995).
Day 4 of the protesting began with students meeting with Congressmen David Bonior of Michigan and Steve Genderson of Wisconsin, both members of the Board of Trustees. The meeting between both parties concluded with both Bonior and Genderson advising Zinser that she should resign from the presidency. This day also brought official support of the protest from the Gallaudet staff and faculty. Even though there were no big announcements from Zinser or Spilman made during this day, the national media still was a strong presence on campus (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
Day 5 of DPN began with school buses blocking the entrances of the campus in order to prevent Zinser or Spilman from accessing campus. Protesters continued to hold rallies and speeches and this day became one that gained the fight much moral and monetary support from the outside community. On this day many buses of deaf students from secondary school across the country arrived in Washington D.C to show their support in person. The DPN Council also received multiple monetary donations from people and groups around the country. After receiving the extra support the community was rewarded that night with the announcement that Zinser had decided to resign as president (website).
As everyone continued to become aware of the news, the students were happy but not satisfied. There were still 3 and 1/2 demands that not had been fulfilled. Buttons were soon created with 3 ½ on them to represent the work that still needed to be completed. Even though spring break was in the next two weeks students planned to stay on campus until all of their demands were met (website). At noon that day protesters marched to the capitol building for a huge rally. There were multiple speeches given by multiple members of the community and by many political figures that were large supports of the fight (Christiansen & Barnartt, 1995).
After 6 long days protesting the community decided to make the 7th day a day of rest and gather at barbeques and art festivals. Although they were taking a break from protesting they knew there was still work to be done. Luckily they did not have to wait much longer for a decision from the Board of Trustees on the rest of the demands. The next day the board convened to discuss what the next steps should be. Soon after on the same day it was announced that Spilman had resigned as Chair of the Board of Trustees and that Phil Bravin would replace her. The board also announced that they had set up a taskforce in order to determine how to make sure that 51% of the board was made up of Deaf individuals. They also announced that there would be no punishment given to those whom had participated in the protests throughout the week. Lastly and most importantly they announced that Dr. I. King Jordan had been named the 8th president of Gallaudet University and the first Deaf president (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
DPN: A Huge Success, Why?
It is clear that DPN was a great success because the protests had all of their demands met. There are multiple reasons as to why this movement created many lasting changes. These reasons include the amount of community support and involvement, the methods used, such as boycotting classes and creating tangible and defined goals. The participants were also very organized and student-run. They used non-violent tactics, drew comparisons between their fight to that of the civil rights movement and garnered national media attention. All of these factors helped to foster an environment that led to the positive outcomes the participants were fighting for (Christiansen & Barnartt, 1995).
Deaf President Now also had a huge impact on the community outside of Gallaudet University. It actually had its greatest impact on the hearing community because it showed them that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people could be just as successful as hearing people. It also showed the Deaf community they did not have to accept limitations that may be placed on them by the hearing community. It also helped to foster and instill a sense of pride and accomplishment within the Deaf community (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
DPN also helped with social change across America and to get a few bills and laws passed that promote rights for the Deaf and people with disabilities. Three key pieces of legislation that were passed after DPN are the Telecommunication Accessibility Enhancement Act, the Television Decoder Circuitry Act and the American Disability Act. The Telecommunication act made sure that the United States telecommunication system was fully accessible to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The Television act required that all televisions that were larger then 13 inches much be equipped to provide closed captioning. Lastly the American Disability Act outlined the rights of people with disabilities and protects them from discrimination that is based on their disability status (Deaf President Now Protest, 2009).
Gallaudet’s Campus Today
Gallaudet University currently has six residence halls. Students have the option to live in both community style and apartment style facilities. Students who live on campus must be full time students who are enrolled in 12 credits as an undergraduate or nine credits if they are in a professional program. Those who do not meet this must gain permission from Campus Life to remain on campus. Students who attend Gallaudet also have a large variety of student activities that they can participate in. Activities range from student government, campus ministry, health and wellness programs, international programs, multicultural student organizations and much more (Campus Life, 2010).
Gallaudet University’s Reputation
Gallaudet University is considered to be “the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard of hearing undergraduate students” (Galludet University, 2010). As stated before the Galludet mission statement describe aims to be a place of skill enhancement, support, growth and community building. The University currently holds a reputation world-wide for its “outstanding” (Gallaudet University, 2010) programs that are offered to deaf and hard of hearing students. It is also known for the research it provides on these populations. (Gallaudet University, 2010).
It is evident that the university is successful in these endeavors do to the fact that over half of Gallaudet graduates move on to receive degrees in the graduate and professional level. Also, many of the books about Gallaudet, or development of deaf culture are published through the university. It is clear that Gallaudet University has made great strides in ensuring that the deaf community has a place where they not only receive an education, but supports the whole person, and the deaf community as a whole. Gallaudet has been a part of many important moments and achievements by the deaf community, and continues to be an important institution to this population.
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