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November 4, 2004

News Release: Merrill Lynch Program to Aid Deaf Entrepreneurs

From: Gallaudet - Nov 4, 2004

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

Merrill Lynch Foundation Contributes $50,000 to Gallaudet Leadership Institute

Funds will be used to establish Merrill Lynch Entrepreneur Certificate Program

(WASHINGTON) Gallaudet University has received a $50,000 contribution from the Merrill Lynch & Co. Foundation Inc. to fund the Merrill Lynch Entrepreneur Certificate Program, which will be administered through the Gallaudet Leadership Institute.

"This is a significant gift from Merrill Lynch and a milestone in a developing relationship between the National Deaf Business Institute and GLI," GLI Director Joseph Innes said. "It will enable development of programming designed to help deaf entrepreneurs create viable businesses."

The new certificate program will prepare deaf and hard of hearing entrepreneurs to become business owners and focus on the knowledge and skills needed to develop a successful business.

"The goal of the Merrill Lynch Entrepreneur Certificate Program is to provide a nurturing environment where participants can learn from those who know best – deaf professionals who are familiar with or have personally overcome the challenges of starting a business," said Eddy Bayardelle, first vice president of Merrill Lynch Global Philanthropy. "Merrill Lynch is focused on developing financial literacy skills and promoting entrepreneurship in the communities where we work and live, making our support of this program a perfect fit."

Because of unique programs that Merrill Lynch offers specifically to deaf and hard of hearing clients, plans are under way to include opportunities for professionals from Merrill Lynch to share their financial knowledge and expertise, Innes said.

"Merrill Lynch was built on entrepreneurial spirit, and we are excited about partnering with the Gallaudet Leadership Institute to develop budding entrepreneurs," said Chris Sullivan, vice president of Merrill Lynch Special Needs Financial Services Group. "The Merrill Lynch Entrepreneur Certificate Program is a natural outgrowth of the service and support Merrill Lynch provides to the deaf and hard of hearing community."

Formed in 2002, the Gallaudet Leadership Institute (GLI) is dedicated to improving the quality of the personal and professional lives of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through leadership training in a variety of fields including education, human services, and business. GLI is especially focused on developing and enhancing the leadership abilities of individuals who administer programs and services in deaf-centric, non-profit and for-profit agencies and corporations.


About Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch is one of the world's leading financial management and advisory companies, with offices in 35 countries and total client assets of approximately $1.5 trillion. As an investment bank, it is a leading global underwriter of debt and equity securities and strategic advisor to corporations, governments, institutions and individuals worldwide. Through Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, the company is one of the world's largest managers of financial assets. Firmwide assets under management total $478 billion. For more information on Merrill Lynch, please visit

About Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduate students. The University enjoys an international reputation for the outstanding graduate programs it provides deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing students, as well as for the quality of the research it conducts on the history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people. In addition, the University's Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center serves deaf and hard-of-hearing children at its two demonstration schools and throughout the nation by developing, implementing, and disseminating innovative educational strategies. Gallaudet is located in Washington, DC.