Gallaudet Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Museum Exhibition, Reunion This year Gallaudet University—the world’s first and sole institution of higher education dedicated to instructing students who are deaf and hard of hearing—turns 150. The Washington, D.C., school is marking the occasion with a packed events roster that includes a student reunion and ongoing museum exhibition, all showcasing Gallaudet’s long ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   June 01, 2014
Gallaudet Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Museum Exhibition, Reunion
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Hearing Disorders / School-Based Settings / Healthcare Settings / Professional Issues & Training / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   June 01, 2014
Gallaudet Celebrates 150th Anniversary With Museum Exhibition, Reunion
The ASHA Leader, June 2014, Vol. 19, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.19062014.10
The ASHA Leader, June 2014, Vol. 19, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB1.19062014.10
This year Gallaudet University—the world’s first and sole institution of higher education dedicated to instructing students who are deaf and hard of hearing—turns 150. The Washington, D.C., school is marking the occasion with a packed events roster that includes a student reunion and ongoing museum exhibition, all showcasing Gallaudet’s long and storied history.
Gallaudet’s story began in 1856 when former U.S. postmaster general and attorney Amos Kendall met Platt Skinner, who was visiting the nation’s capital to raise money—with 20 deaf children in his care. Kendall resolved to help Skinner achieve his goal of establishing a school for the deaf. But the state soon revealed Skinner as a fraud, and authorities removed 15 of the children from his care due to abuse.
Amos Kendall took custody of the other five and finished what Skinner had purported to start. In 1857, Kendall established the Columbia Institution for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. He hired as the school’s first superintendent Edward Miner Gallaudet, son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, who had earlier established the first permanent U.S. school for deaf children.
The fledgling school flourished, guided by Gallaudet’s steady hand and fueled by Kendall’s prodigious resources. In 1864, Congress authorized and President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the school’s right to confer degrees. Following a tradition established by Ulysses S. Grant in 1869, to this day every Gallaudet graduate’s diploma is signed by the sitting U.S. president.
With a theme of “Gallaudet University: Celebrating 150 Years of Visionary Leadership,” the sesquicentennial celebration has so far featured a lecture series, the Charter Day Festival—held on April 8, 150 years to the day since Lincoln signed the university’s charter—a museum exhibition outlining the school’s history, and a two-day symposium. The festivities will culminate July 9–13 at the Gallaudet Reunion, and the Gallaudet University Museum exhibit, “Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond,” is ongoing.
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June 2014
Volume 19, Issue 6