IM this article to a friend!

April 6, 2007

Gallaudet announces million-dollar donations at groundbreaking ceremony

From: Gallaudet - Apr 6, 2007

Gallaudet announces million-dollar donations at groundbreaking ceremony

(WASHINGTON) At the recent groundbreaking for the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC), Gallaudet University announced two $1 million donations from Sorenson Legacy Foundation and Sorenson Communications Inc.

The SLCC, set to open in 2008, will create a visu-centric space for collaborative learning, teaching, and research in an environment supported by and created from Gallaudet’s commitment to American Sign Language (ASL) and visual learning. The building will serve not only as a model for academic collaboration at Gallaudet but will also serve as an architectural exemplar for all future construction projects at the University.

Gallaudet launched the $28 million campaign to construct the language and communication center in January 2004. So far, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation has donated $3 million, and Sorenson Communication Inc. has given $4 million.

“The SLCC is very much a deaf and ASL-centered building which promotes collaborative efforts in teaching, learning, research and service and we are honored to have such important and generous benefactors as the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and Sorenson Communications,” Gallaudet University President Dr. Robert Davila said. “The planning of the SLCC marks the first time in history where deaf people provided this level of in-depth input on the visual-centered nature of the building. All designs were developed with the understanding that ASL will be the primary face-to-face language used in the building.”

The university plans to move several departments under one roof, hoping to foster coordinated efforts across academic disciplines. The SLCC will house the following departments:

  • ASL and Deaf Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Government and History
  • Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences
  • Linguistics
  • Sociology
In addition to these academic departments, the Center will also have a student media center, classrooms, collaboration rooms, video relay service booths, and house Gallaudet’s Hearing and Speech Center. There are also plans underway to create a deaf history timeline in the building which will recognize and celebrate the richness of deaf culture and the community.


About Sorenson Legacy Foundation

The Sorenson Legacy Foundation is a non-profit corporation established by the James LeVoy Sorenson family for the exclusive purpose of promoting charitable, religious, educational, literary, and scientific endeavors. The Foundation is qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

About Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications™ ( is a provider of industry-leading communication offerings including Sorenson Video Relay Service (Sorenson VRS®), the company’s line of videophones, Sorenson IP Relay™ (siprelay), and Sorenson Video Remote Interpreting™ (VRI). Sorenson VRS ( enables deaf and hard-of-hearing callers who use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate, to conduct video relay conversations with hearing friends, business colleagues, and family members through a qualified ASL interpreter. Sorenson Communications was the first company to offer a videophone appliance specifically designed for deaf individuals. Sorenson IP Relay ( allows deaf and hard-of-hearing users to place instant text-based relay calls from a PC or mobile device to any telephone user. Sorenson Video Remote Interpreting™ ( is a fee-based video interpreting service ideal for use in situations where an interpreter cannot be physically present to interpret between hearing and deaf individuals who are at the same location.

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.