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March 29, 2006

"Campaign for Gallaudet's Future" ushers in new chapter for historic university

From: Gallaudet - USA - Mar 29, 2006

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

“Campaign for Gallaudet’s Future” ushers in
new chapter for historic university

(WASHINGTON) Gallaudet University, the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, recently unveiled a multimillion dollar campaign to fund two projects: the Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC) and the I. King Jordan Chair in Leadership.

Officially launched on March 29, 2006, the $31 million initiative, The Campaign for Gallaudet’s Future, signals the University’s push for the creation of an original academic and service environment that will lead deaf and hard of hearing people throughout country and world in a bold new direction

“Right now, we [the deaf community] have two choices: we can wait for the world to define us and allow the world to make changes as it sees fit, or we [Gallaudet] can take the lead in defining what we know about deaf people, their language, culture, and about being deaf,” President I. King Jordan said.

Considered a true “deaf space,” the SLCC will house various departments, including American Sign Language and Deaf Studies, Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences, and Linguistics. SLCC’s visu-centric nature will promote true collaboration, thanks to the deliberate use of open spaces, natural lighting, and room layouts that are conducive to visual communication.

The I. King Jordan Chair in Leadership was created in honor of Dr. Jordan, who will retire this year after serving as Gallaudet’s president for the past 18 years. The privately-funded Jordan Chair will provide opportunities for seasoned scholars and successful institutional leaders to come to the University to create and share new knowledge in strategic areas and disciplines that are important, not only to Dr. Jordan, but to deaf people around the world.

Candidates for the Jordan Chair will exhibit scholarly expertise in such areas as international and/or domestic advocacy on behalf of deaf and disabled people, the study of psychology as it relates to deaf and disabled people, and the study of linguistics, specifically psycholinguistics.

Constructing and equipping the SLCC will cost $28 million. A generous leadership gift from the Sorenson Family resulted in naming the facility for James Lee Sorenson, the Vice-Chairman of Sorenson Companies. The University is seeking private contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations for the SLCC.

The I. King Jordan Chair in Leadership will be funded through private donations. Once it is fully funded at $3 million, Gallaudet will appoint Jordan Chair Scholars. While all gifts will be invested, a percentage of the Chair’s market value will be spent each year to support the scholar occupying the position. Thus, allowing the opportunities that this Chair affords to live in perpetuity.


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.