IM this article to a friend!

April 2, 2007

Simone to address Gallaudet grads

From: Rochester Business Journal - Rochester,NY,USA - Apr 2, 2007

Rochester Business Journal
April 2, 2007

Rochester Institute of Technology president Albert Simone is slated as this year’s keynote commencement speaker at Gallaudet University, where student protests last year forced the school to choose a new president.

Simone said he would talk in sign language May 11 to graduates about the importance of unifying Gallaudet, the nation’s only four-year liberal arts college for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Gallaudet named Robert Davila president last fall after protesting students blocked school entrances for three weeks to oppose the naming of a controversial Gallaudet administrator as the new president. Davila served as chief executive of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT from 1996 to 2004.

“They have an outstanding leader to bring the campus back together again,” Simone said.

“Sometimes you learn more from the adverse experiences,” he added. “I want to deliver a meaningful message.”

The RIT campus is preparing for diversity forums soon that will include discussions related to the March 23 appearance of insult comic Lisa Lampenelli, who made fun of deaf people. NTID students protested the appearance.

Simone said he found her remarks offensive.

“On the other hand,” he added, “the best way to resolve a situation is not to ignore it, but to listen to her and you can respond. We allowed her to speak, and we’re planning a major campuswide forum for all points of view.”

(c) 2007 Rochester Business Journal.