Academics

Commencement 2024 is history!  

Gallaudet University celebrated its 400 graduating students last week, with Commencement ceremonies for graduate students and undergraduate students on May 10, along with many associated events, including Lavender Graduation and the Students of Color Graduation.  

One hundred sixty students were awarded graduate degrees during the morning ceremony, including the first-ever recipients of master’s degrees in Accessible Human-Centered Computing and the professional degree Doctor of Psychology. One student, Sandon Larson, was recognized posthumously. Two hundred forty undergraduates received degrees in the afternoon ceremony, including five who graduated with University Honors.  

As always, the Gallaudet Dance Company and the Bison Song Team performed before each ceremony. Graduating undergraduate students Jared Herman and Isabelle Taveras signed the National Anthem, and Vergena Chee, who also graduated on Friday, led a prayer honoring Indigenous peoples. A land acknowledgment appeared in the Commencement program book for the first time. 

Alfred Sonnenstrahl keynoted the graduate ceremony, and Dr. Madan Vasishta, ’71, G-’73, & PhD ’83, addressed the undergraduate Class of 2024. Both were awarded honorary degrees.  

Student speakers were Aanuoluwapo Omoleye at the graduate ceremony and Micah Lovell at the undergraduate ceremony.  

Dr. Maribel Gárate-Estes, G-’97 & PhD ’07, was named Distinguished Faculty Member (see related article), and Thomas F. Baldridge, Willy Conley, and Dr. Jane Nickerson, G-’83, were named Faculty Emerit.  

Mindful of the protests and encampments taking place at other colleges and universities, the university added security and announced evacuation routes in case of emergencies or disruptions. Several students in both ceremonies expressed their views as they came up to receive their diplomas but did so peacefully.   

This year, for the second time, an all-deaf team organized and executed Commencement. Caption Anywhere provided the livestream. 

Both ceremonies can be viewed online. 

Congratulations to our graduates! 

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