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Press release courtesy of Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Governor Mark Dayton declared September 30, 2016 to be “Roberta J. Cordano Day” at the request of the Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans. On the same day President Cordano was officially inaugurated as the 11th president of Gallaudet University (Washington, D.C.), the nation’s only liberal arts college for students who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing.

President Cordano hails from Minnesota and has been an exemplary leader. She served as:

  • Assistant attorney general for the State of Minnesota
  • Assistant dean and director of disability services at the University of Minnesota
  • President of the Park Nicollet Institute and vice president of Park Nicollet Health Services
  • Interim president at Allina Hospital Clinics
  • Vice president of programs for the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

President Cordano was also a founding member of the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul, MN and a founding board member for the Minnesota North Star Academy. Both are charter schools for deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing students. The level of high accomplishments she has achieved in Minnesota has ultimately led to her current role of president of Gallaudet University. President Cordano’s official biography is available on Gallaudet University’s website.

The proclamation was presented as a surprise gift to President Cordano by Commission member Emily Smith-Lundberg, at a private luncheon that was part of the inauguration festivities. Smith-Lundberg served as the Commission’s representative. Her husband, Daniel Lundberg, is a chemistry professor at Gallaudet.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from Governor Dayton and the State of Minnesota. Thank you to the Commission of Deaf, Deafblind, and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans for their work in making this proclamation possible,” said Gallaudet University President Roberta J. Cordano. “No matter where I go, I carry the values and spirit of Minnesota with me always. The deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind community is vibrant, progressive, inclusive, and hardworking and I have loved being a part of it for so many years. This recognition is dear to me; thank you.”

An official picture of President Cordano with Smith-Lundberg (photo credit: Zhee Chatmon, Gallaudet University Office of University Communications) and a copy of the proclamation is enclosed. A picture of President Cordano with Smith-Lundberg and other inauguration guests from Minnesota is also enclosed (photo credit: Zhee Chatmon, Gallaudet University Office of University Communications).

About the Commission

The Commission of Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing Minnesotans is a governor-appointed commission that advocates for communication access and equal opportunity for Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing. For more information about the commission, visit our website at or join us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Gallaudet University

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.

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