The 37th annual Charter Day celebration commemorating the April 8, 1864 signing of Gallaudet’s charter by President Abraham Lincoln included two award winners’ talks to the campus about their works on April 7th. Dr. Gertrude Scott Galloway, ’51 & Ph.D ’93, shared her experiences as a deaf woman and leader of deaf organizations in her "Dancing to the Winds" talk. Ann Marie "Jade" Bryan, E-’88, narrated about her life as a deaf black filmmaker and showed selected segments of her films that she produced in her "I Shall Not Be Moved... Reaching Zenith" presentation.
The award winners of this year’s Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) and Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund awards, who were honored for their outstanding contributions, at the April 8 annual Charter Day brunch and awards program in the Gallaudet Kellogg Conference Hotel with Dr. Khadijat "Kubby" Rashid, ’90, as mistress of ceremonies. Kubby, a professor of Economics, got brunch guests to guess answers to her Gallaudet trivia questions. By coincidence, these seven award winners had one thing in common; they hold "First" titles in their capacities.
GUAA Outstanding Young Alumnus Award-- to a young alumnus or alumna of Gallaudet University of the past 15 years who has performed some impressive service to the University and/or the deaf community, or who has brought recognition to our Alma Mater through some notable achievement in his/her personal or professional life. Kelby N. Brick, ’94, (MD), is the first deaf graduate from Temple Law School and he is currently director of law and advocacy center at the National Association of the Deaf. Kelby continues to be an advocate for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. He has taken the lead in litigation against businesses that have refused to accept telecommunications relay calls from deaf and hard of hearing individuals. He assisted in efforts to implement rules authorizing video and Internet Protocol relay services and pushed for rules mandating minimum requirements for services, including 24/7 access and speed of answering calls/ He persuaded a Virginia state legislator to withdraw a precedent-setting amendment requiring convicted deaf and hard of hearing defendants to pay for the cost of interpreters as part of court costs. He represented in court a deaf parent who sought to regain custody of her child after the State removed the child from the parent’s custody solely on the basis of the parent’s deafness.
GUAA Pauline "Polly" Peikoff "Service to Others"Award-- to an individual, hearing or deaf, from within the deaf community who has contributed of himself or herself, especially as a volunteer, to the community. Kenneth W. Norton, ’50 (CA) and his wife, Audree Bennett Norton, ’52 (CA) are true volunteers with big smiles in their hearts within the Deaf Community. Kenneth, as an educator, has taught several schools for the Deaf and was very active in the sports programs. Authored a book, "The Eagle Soars to Enlightenment." Audree, as one of first National Theatre for the Deaf (NTD) actresses, has been active in the theatre community and was the first deaf actress to appear on television in 1969. Both have served on the boards for the Don Parodi Memorial Charitable Fund at the California School for the Deaf, D.E.A.F Media, Inc, the International Center on Deafness and Arts, and American Conservatory Theatre, the Sound of Flower Project. Co-chaired the entertainment committee at the Deaf Seniors of America Conference in San Francisco in 2005.
LCCF Alice Cogswell Award--for valuable service on behalf of deaf people. Marcella M. Meyer (CA), a pioneer in social services to the Deaf, Marcella is selfless. As a visionary, she established and developed many social services for the Deaf. In 1974, Marcella was a volunteer with the United Way, providing information to Deaf consumers through a single telephone line and a good old model 28 TTY. From this experience, she established the Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness, Inc., better known as GLAD. This is a non-profit agency that operated from the perspective of the Deaf consumer. As the first Deaf female CEO of this agency, she coordinated the partnership of all the Deaf community clubs and organizations in the greater Los Angeles area. This also led to the establishment of a center for Deaf Seniors. To secure civil rights for the Deaf community, Marcella advocated for the right to have interpreters, leading to the establishment of one of the first Deaf-run interpreting pools in the country that is still in operation today. Marcella established the certification of interpreters in California, which eventually became the NAD Interpreter Certification.
LCCF Laurent Clerc Award -- for outstanding social contributions by a deaf person. Dr. Gertrude Scott Galloway, ’51 & Ph.D ‘93 (TX) was the first woman president of NAD, first woman president of Conference of Educational Administrators Serving the Deaf (CEASD), first woman president of Deaf Seniors of America, first Deaf woman superintendent of a school of the Deaf, first Deaf woman to earn a Ph.D. in Special Education Administration from Gallaudet.
LCCF Edward Miner Gallaudet Award – for recognition of national or international leaders for promoting the well-being of deaf people. Dr. I. King Jordan, ’70 (DC) was the first Deaf president of Gallaudet University. 1988 witnessed a revolution in Deaf President Now. Since then, and for the past 18 years, the world has seen a man possessing persistent vision, unique kindness, and skilled leadership propel Gallaudet University into the new millennium. His journey is evidence to endless possibilities and faith in the human spirit. His career has marked an era of international service to Deaf people with his tireless commitment to fostering aspiration and by his embodiment of a positive role model. This accomplishment made waves in the international deaf community as he became a bridge between the hearing and Deaf worlds. He has since acted locally, nationally, and globally to empower all Deaf people. Note: Two past Gallaudet Presidents were honored with the same award, Dr. Leonard M. Elstad, ’23 in 1973 and Dr. Edward C. Merrill, Jr., in 1983.
LCCF Amos Kendall Award -- for notable excellence in a professional field not related to deafness to a deaf person. Ann Marie "Jade" Bryan, E-'88 (NY) embodies the continuing maturation of deaf and hard of hearing film makers and is a shining example of their responsiveness to our community and to the issues we face. Her works have been honored at numerous festivals and expositions across the United States and in Europe. Documentaries such as "On & Off Stage: The Bruce Hlibok Story," "Listen to the Hands of Our People," and her own BioPic "Passion of Words Turning into Action: A Black Deaf Filmmaker’s Journey" have raised the consciousness of communities across the country to issues of AIDS, racism, and discrimination. This year she anticipates the release of her first feature film, "Somalia," and will continue developing "9/11: Fear in Silence" and "Cleopatra’s Desires," which is to be filmed in Brazil.
GUAA presented a resolution to honor Mrs. Linda K. Jordan, wife of Gallaudet President I. King Jordan for her role and responsibilities of Gallaudet First Lady with great energy and enthusiasm for the past 19 years.
Posted: 3 May 2006