History Through Deaf Eyes – Deaf President Now

“If deaf persons are not considered good enough to run the university then what’s the point of having a university for deaf people?” ~ Dr. Allen Sussman Gallaudet faculty member

When Gallaudet University began searching for a new president, qualified deaf applicants were encouraged to apply. Two of the three finalists were deaf. The selection of the hearing applicant was announced in March 1988 and students, alumni, faculty, and staff closed down the University in protest.

Following an outpouring of support from around the world, Gallaudet’s first deaf president, Dr. I. King Jordan, was appointed along with a new deaf chair of the Board of Trustees. The University also pledged to establish a deaf majority on the Board of Trustees.

Many students at the edge of barriers signing/shouting in unison.

Students shout and sign “Deaf President Now!” “Deaf President Now!” Gallaudet University Archives

Dr. I. King Jordan, with his wife Linda Jordan in front of many microphones at the footsteps of Chapel Hall.

During the week-long protest, Dr. I. King Jordan, with his wife Linda Jordan by his side, spoke to protesters supporting their demands. Gallaudet University Archives