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Nearly 100 people, including Gallaudet University students, faculty, and staff, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly renamed NoMa-Gallaudet U Metro station on June 13. NoMa stands for North of Massachusetts Avenue and encompasses the neighborhood north of Union Station and the U.S. Capitol in D.C. Gallaudet U was also included in the station name to recognize the university’s nearly 150-year history and signify its role in the larger Northeast Washington area community.

In 2011, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) began an initiative to change several Metro station names in order to simplify what had become, in some cases, names that had become lengthy and cumbersome. The station closest to Gallaudet was previously named “New York Ave-Florida Ave-Gallaudet U.” and was chosen as one of the stations to be renamed. Options for the name change included “New York Ave-NoMa” with “Gallaudet University” as a subtitle.

Once students found out that there was a chance Gallaudet could be dropped as a primary name for the station, they began a petition drive collecting more than 1,000 signatures from students, faculty and staff, and also testified at WMATA-held public hearings. In November, the campus community cheered when WMATA announced the final selection of “NoMa-Gallaudet U” as the primary station name with “New York Ave” as a secondary name to be dropped entirely from the station name after one year.

“I would like to thank WMATA for making the decision to recognize the vital part Gallaudet University and its students play in the community,”” said Ennis. “NoMa-Gallaudet U will play a defining role in thousands of students” lives by making access to the city easier.”

“The NoMa-Gallaudet U Metro station and the development around it including H Street, the Sixth Street Market, and in NoMa, has led to a renaissance in the area,” said Weiner. “Gallaudet is honored to be a part of that renaissance and we see the Metro as a symbol of collaboration and community.”

Gallaudet Provost Stephen J. Weiner, Ed.D., and Gallaudet senior Zach Ennis gave remarks during the event. Other speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray, officials from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) which runs Metro, representatives of the NoMa Business Improvement District, and other federal and local officials.

The NoMa-Gallaudet U station opened in 2004 and according to WMATA, serves more than 7,400 riders each weekday.
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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