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For over 150 years, our mission has been to empower deaf and hard of hearing communities globally. This mission lives through Gallaudet’s position as a space where the vitality of the deaf experience and vibrancy of sign language thrive.
By working for the greater good of our students and community, we believe we can create a better world. Together.
Since President Lincoln signed the legislation that broke ground on establishing a school for the deaf and hard of hearing, we remain the world’s only liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
As a result of research by William Stokoe, a longtime professor of English at Gallaudet, and the support of two deaf colleagues, Ms. Dorothy Sueoka Casterline, ’58 and Mr. Carl-Gustaf Croneberg, ’55, the study of ASL linguistics was established.
The Deaf President Now (DPN) movement, which happened in 1988, has been synonymous with continuous efforts to improve the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people everywhere. It led to the appointment of the university’s first deaf president and instilled a sense of pride and accomplishment in deaf and hard of hearing people worldwide.
Not until 2020 did President Cordano and Gallaudet University have a leadership team that was mostly made up of deaf and hard of hearing people. For years, our leaders were mostly hearing people. This would be like Howard University having a black president and a leadership team made up of only white people.
In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the legislation authorizing the establishment of a college for deaf and hard of hearing students in Washington, D.C. We’ve grown a lot over the centuries and continue to evolve into our future.
See our progress over the early 1800s.
[Video Start][Video presented in English]
Gallaudet University: Our PROGRESS;
We are becoming.
1817: American School for the Deaf founded, reinforcing deaf education in the United States
1854: John Carlin, a deaf artist and writer, advocates for a deaf college
1857: Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind
1864: President Abraham Lincoln signed the charter
authorizing the Columbia Institution to award collegiate degrees.
1880: NAD founded Milan Conference
1887: White women admitted to Gallaudet on probationary status
1892 & 1893: Alto Lowman and Agatha Tiegel Hanson first women to graduate
1894: Changed name to Gallaudet College
1905: Kendall School becomes segregated;
sends students of color to a school for colored deaf mutes in Maryland.
1913: Preserving Sign Language: George Veditz
1948: First Hispanic student: Robert R. Davila
1954: Andrew Foster first black male to graduate
1957: Ida Wynette Hampton first black female to graduate
1950s: Gallaudet became accredited
1952: Louise B. Miller won a suit against the District of Columbia Board of Education
to allow her son and other black deaf children to attend Kendall School
1954: Black students integrated into classrooms at Kendall School
1960: William C. Stokoe authored a monograph recognizing ASL as a language
1965: Publication of A Dictionary of American Sign Language on Linguistic Principles,
by William C. Stokoe, Dorothy C. Casterline, and Carl G. Croneberg
1969: The Model Secondary School for the Deaf opens
1986: Gallaudet becomes a university
1988: Deaf President Now movement and first deaf President, Dr. I. King Jordan
1980s-1990s: Bilingual movement began in K-12 settings
Learning Center for the Deaf (Marie Jean Philip)
Indiana School for the Deaf (Laurene Simms)
1989: Unlocking the Curriculum: Principles for Achieving Access in Deaf Education;
Robert E. Johnson, Scott K. Liddell, and Carol J. Erting
2007: First Hispanic Deaf President, Dr. Robert R. Davila
2007: Board of Trustees approves Gallaudet mission statement,
recognizing Gallaudet as a bilingual, diverse, and multicultural institution
2008: Gallaudet cited as a model for other colleges and universities
for its general studies program and culture of assessment
2008: Sixth Street development
2009: MSCHE report encourages Gallaudet to refine its mission statement
2010: Third Deaf President, Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz
2016: First openly LGBTQIA Deaf President, Roberta J. Cordano
2017: We started to develop our bilingual mission framework
2019: Board of Trustees adopted bilingual mission framework
that was developed by faculty, staff, and students
2019: Gallaudet becomes an R2 university,
a designation that recognizes its achievement in research and doctoral studies
2020: We announced the appointment of our first Chief Bilingual Officer, Dr. Laurene Simms
Gallaudet University: We are becoming.
Can’t visit in person? No problem!Visit Gallaudet on a virtual tour of our beautiful campus, facilities, and residence halls from the comfort of your own home.
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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