In 2007, Gallaudet underwent many changes, especially at the administrative level and the Board of Trustees level. Gallaudet revised its mission, revamped its curriculum for undergraduate studies, and had its accreditation status upgraded from "probation" to "warning".
Although the University still has many challenges, we believe that we are headed in the right direction. Gallaudet is still the best place for deaf and hard of hearing students.
The buzz among the alumni is loud and clear – they do care about Gallaudet! The spirit was obvious at alumni events all over the United States and on campus during Homecoming weekend. With help from GUAA chapters, hundreds of alumni came to meet Dr. Davila when he was in the West (Fremont and Riverside, California and Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington). We saw the largest number of attendees for the 25th (Class of 1982) and 50th (Class of 1957) class reunions and Alumni Emeriti Club induction ceremony during the Homecoming weekend. One of many highlights of the Homecoming weekend was the grand re-opening of the Peikoff Alumni House. Alumni made many positive comments about the facility and it sure is a place we can be proud of! The renovation would not have been possible without the generosity of the University and the Gallaudet University Alumni Association.
The spirit was so great that many alumni were asking for the Development Office booth at the Homecoming game so that they could make a contribution to the University. They were responding to "Bummy" Burstein’s challenge and the Buff & Blue Fever. Both have been very successful. This kind of support is helping Gallaudet greatly and it must continue.
The Alumni Relations Office strongly believes that good alumni are well-informed alumni. Communication is vital. In addition to Gallaudet Today magazines for GUAA members and newsletters for all alumni, we have been sending electronic newsletters to alumni at least once a month. There are currently 2,975 subscribers to the e-newsletter. We also had several vlogs done especially for alumni. You can find for general alumni vlogs here and Bob (Davila)’s vlogs here.
In 2007, there were five Gallaudet clubs, at least twenty-four GUAA Chapter events, five new and reactivated GUAA chapters (Mississippi, NC Tarheel, Colorado, Southeastern Florida, and VA Robert E. Lee), and several Gallaudet-sponsored alumni events including:
GUAA, through the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund Committee, hosted a sold out Charter Day Awards and Luncheon in April. The committee also awarded grants, notably for the book, "I Knew Elizabeth Peet, Queen of Gallaudet" edited by Frances Parsons, Class of 1947. It was a heart-warming project as it invoked memories among many alumni.
Through the Graduate Fellowship Fund Committee, the GUAA awarded scholarships totaling $85,000 to twelve individuals enrolled in a doctoral or other terminal degree program. This set a record for the largest amount of money given in a year.
GUAA continues to grow with 106 new members this year. In 2008, GUAA will conduct the eleventh Election for the Board of Directors.
There are changes within the alumni relations staff – longtime administrative assistant Bobbie Boswell retired and assistant director Sherry Duhon, '77, moved to a different division on campus, the College of Professional Studies and Outreach. We wish them the best in their new endeavors. We have a new administrative assistant, Sonia Brown. Plans are being made for a new assistant director.
Wondering how we would sum up what 2007 meant to the University and us, the alumni, we’d say "soul searching with a promising future."
GUAA Board of Directors and the Alumni Relations Office Staff wish you all happy holidays!
Posted: 18 Dec 2007