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September 28, 2004

News Release: University honors memory of first African American graduate

From: Gallaudet - Sep 28, 2004

For more information, contact:
Darrick Nicholas
Media Relations Coordinator
Gallaudet University
PH: 202.448.7136

Gallaudet to honor its first African American graduate
Auditorium will carry moniker of famed educator

(WASHINGTON) Dr. Andrew Jackson Foster, the father of deaf education in Africa, dedicated his life to the betterment of the deaf and hard of hearing community worldwide. This October, a renovated facility at his alma mater will reopen donning his name.

During its homecoming, Gallaudet University will unveil the newly renovated Andrew J. Foster Auditorium during a dedication ceremony, scheduled for 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 22. During the ceremony, organizers will also unveil a bust of the educator, recently donated to the university by the National Black Deaf Advocates.

Foster, in 1954 becoming the first African American to graduate from Gallaudet College, worked toward achieving his childhood dream of establishing schools for deaf students. Between 1957 and 1987, he established 31 schools and two centers in 13 African countries and a similar number of Sunday Schools/Bible meetings/Churches. The educator died in a plane crash in 1987.

Gallaudet's homecoming will take place Oct. 22-23. Festivities will include various alumni reunion activities, sporting events and an Emeritus Club gala honoring alumni who attended the university 50 or more years ago. The class of 1954 – Foster's graduating class – will receive special recognition.

About Gallaudet University

The mission of Gallaudet University is to serve as a comprehensive, multipurpose institution of higher education for deaf and hard of hearing citizens of the United States and of the world. In addition to its undergraduate and graduate academic programs, the University also offers national demonstration elementary and secondary education programs. The only liberal arts university in the world designed exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing students, Gallaudet University is located in Washington, DC. TTY/V: 202.651.5000