Currently, Gallaudet Archives has no examples of diplomas signed by United States President Rutherford Hayes, who was president from 1877 until 1881.

Hayes attended and delivered the Presentation Day (Commencement) address on April 11, 1877. On February 16, 1878, Hayes and his wife attended the dedication ceremony for College Hall, and Mrs. Hayes initiated the building by lighting the fireplace in a room on the third floor. President Hayes also attended the Presentation Day exercises in 1879 and 1880.

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

Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes


Edward Miner Gallaudet

Edward Miner Gallaudet


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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National Deaf Life Museum

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