Ballard Residential Complex - North & West
Ballard North and its "brother" building, Ballard West are four-story buildings composed predominately of double rooms arranged on a long corridor divided into two wings. Rooms are furnished with individual heating and air-conditioning units, beds, dressers, desks, chairs, closets, carpeting, and Venetian blinds. Each wing has community bathrooms on the corridor. There is a TV and study lounge on each floor.
Number of floors: 4 plus basement
History: Formerly known as Cogswell Hall,Ballard North was originally designed to be a women's residence hall. Krug Hall, now known as Ballard West, was the men's residence.
These were the first two buildings on campus to have built-in central air conditioning and carpets
throughout the building.
Size of the buildings: Ballard North - 50,976 square feet; Ballard West - 51,142 square feet
Unique features: Open, winding stairway from first to fourth floor in each building.
Named for Melville Ballard (1839-1912)
Melville Ballard, in 1866, became the first undergraduate student to receive a degree from Gallaudet College. Ballard was also a teacher in the Primary Department-later known as the Kendall School-for over 50 years. Melville Ballard was born July 31, 1839, in Fryeburg, Maine. He reportedly lost his hearing in infancy. Though very curious and intelligent, young Ballard had not acquired much language other than home signs created by his hearing family members until he entered the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Conn. at the age of eleven. Ballard graduated from ASD in 1857 and was hired to teach young children at ASD. In 1860, Edward Miner Gallaudet persuaded Ballard to move to Washington, D.C. to teach in the Primary Department.
However, Ballard wanted to pursue higher education and he urged Gallaudet to establish the collegiate programs. As the prospect of the college being established seemed imminent, Ballard "retired" from teaching and in 1864 was the first person to apply to the new college for admission. He was accepted and began a special two-year course of study in September 1864. At that time there had been only one other student accept to the college who ultimately did not attend. There were six students enrolled in preparatory classes who were not officially considered admitted at the college. Therefore, during that first year, Ballard was the college's only student and he was teasingly referred to as, "The College." Remarks were made such as "The College has gone to bed." "The College has gone to the city." "The College has gone for a stroll." "The College is dissatisfied with the cafeteria food."
After Ballard finished his studies, he graduated June 27, 1866 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and returned to teaching at the Kendall School where he remained until his death.
In 1870, he went on to receive a Master of Science degree from Gallaudet. Ballard was warmly regarded by his students and continued to be an influence on them after they left his class. He also taught sign language to hearing graduate students in the Normal School, which started in 1891. He was an animated storyteller and enthralled audiences at his many lectures in Chapel Hall. He was known for his wide range of knowledge on many subjects and his meticulous attention to detail. His particular areas of interest were genealogy and politics and he carefully verified his facts before making conclusions. He was fluent in English, Latin, and French and often would be asked by Congressman General James Garfield to translate documents from the French Emperor, Napoleon III.
In 1871, Ballard and several other men formed the first literary magazine for deaf people, The Silent World. Unfortunately the magazine only lasted five years. Ballard was the first president of the Gallaudet College Alumni Association.
When Ballard died on December 15, 1912 he left behind his wife-a former student of his-and four children.
- Johnson, Gloria R. Contributions of three early Kendall school teachers: James Denison, Melville Ballard and Sarah Harvey Porter. masters thesis. Gallaudet University. Washington, D.C. 1943.
- Gallaudet, Edward Miner. History of the College for the Deaf 1857-1907. Gallaudet College Press. Washington, D.C. 1983. 57,62.