During its May 2021 meeting, the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees received and approved a recommendation from a committee led by Dr. Brian H. Greenwald, ’96, Professor of History and Director of the John S. and Betty J. Schuchman Deaf Documentary Center, which acknowledged the harm caused by honoring Henry Laurens Dawes, a 19th century U.S. Senator who was found to have engaged in systemic oppression against indigenous peoples. Accordingly, the Dawes House name was retired. The building will be known as Building 103 temporarily, pending community dialogue about a permanent name.

According to the Gallaudet Almanac, Building 103 was designed by Olof Hanson, Class of 1886, and built in 1895, using brick, masonry, concrete, and slate. It has three floors and a basement, and a gross area of 11,041 square feet. The building originally accommodated about 50 students, and had apartments for college officials. Building 103 was first used as housing for Kendall School boys, and later as housing for college preparatory women. It contained study rooms, sleeping rooms, bathrooms, and hospital rooms. Today, it houses the Office of International Affairs.

The University will engage in a restorative justice process with Deaf indigenous peoples, and the Board expects a proposal for a community healing and re-naming process for Building 103 during its October 2021 meeting.

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