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The story below includes information taken from a USPS press release, issued on November 22, 2016: http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2016/pr16_094.htm

The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced the honorees who will be featured on Forever stamps in the new year, including deaf trailblazer, Dr. Robert Panara, ’45 & H-’85.

“2017 will be an exciting year for the Postal Service’s stamp program,” said Mary-Anne Penner, U.S. Postal Service Director, Stamp Services. “This amazing collection of stamps features beautiful art, distinguished Americans, and historic events.”

The 16th stamp in the Distinguished Americans series honors the late Panara, an influential teacher and pioneer in the field of deaf studies. The stamp features a 2009 photograph of Panara, shown signing the word “respect,” in American Sign Language (ASL). See the stamp here: http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2016/pr16_094.htm

During his 40-year teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students with his powerful use of ASL. Panara taught at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. for nearly 20 years, as well as at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), part of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in New York.

Panara also helped increase the visibility and popularity of ASL by co-founding the National Theater of the Deaf in the 1960s and teaching drama workshops.

In 1965, Panara served on an advisory board to establish NTID. Two years later, he joined the faculty there, established the institute’s English Department, founded the school’s drama club, and again became a much-loved professor.

Gallaudet awarded Dr. Panara with an honorary doctorate in 1985 for his contributions to the University as well as to the deaf community.

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