The following are diplomas granted to Gallaudet University graduate and undergraduate students and signed by United States President Benjamin Harrison, who was president from 1889 until 1893.

President Harrison attended the Presentation Day (Commencement) exercises in May 1889.

President Harrison was also a guest for unveiling the iconic campus statue of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell on June 2, 1889. The statue was created by famed sculptor Daniel Chester French who is best known for Abraham Lincoln’s statue at the Lincoln Memorial. Many distinguished guests were present for the unveiling, including inventor Alexander Graham Bell.

Diplomas were also signed by Gallaudet President Edward Miner Gallaudet, president of the institution since its founding in 1864 until 1910.

During this period, the school was known as the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, which included the Kendall School primary programs and the National Deaf-Mute College.

U.S. President

Gallaudet President

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison


Edward Miner Gallaudet

Edward Miner Gallaudet



Olof Hanson Diploma

Click to enlarge

Olof Hanson

Olof Hanson

Master of Arts

May 8, 1889

Gallery of Diplomas Collection

In 1864, Congress passed a bill authorizing the institution, known as the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, to establish the National College for the Deaf and Dumb which would provide college-level instruction and confer college degrees. On...

National Deaf Life Museum

Resource Type: History

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