WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 1, 2011 – Gallaudet University today announced the appointment of Academy-Award winning actress Marlee Matlin as an honorary trustee for the university, a lifetime appointment.

Chartered in 1864 by President Abraham Lincoln, Gallaudet University is the world’s only accredited liberal arts university for deaf and hard of hearing students that offers a bilingual learning environment in American Sign Language and English.

Matlin has served on the board of trustees since 2008 and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Gallaudet University in 1987. Matlin has served a highly visible role in the deaf community for many years since receiving the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1986; most recently as honorary chair of the World Deaf Cinema Festival in 2010 hosted on the Gallaudet campus.

“For many years, Ms. Matlin has been a tireless advocate for deaf people and has continually promoted awareness of the deaf community through her activism as well as her professional pursuits,” said Gallaudet University Board of Trustees Chair Benjamin J. Soukup. “Her new position as honorary trustee will be crucial as we approach Gallaudet’s 150th anniversary celebration and we very much look forward to her continued support and guidance to the university as it enters a new era.”

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

Mercy Coogan

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