A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
We make it easy for you to apply and enter here.
Ready to take the next step toward a college education?
Make lasting memories and grow in ways you never thought possible.
In 1864, Congress passed a bill authorizing the institution, known as the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind, to establish the National College for the Deaf and Dumb which would provide college-level instruction and confer college degrees.
On April 8, 1864, United States President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law.
Edward Miner Gallaudet, superintendent of the Columbia Institution under founder Amos Kendall, was made president of the institution, including the college, after Kendall stepped down earlier that year. In that first year there were eight students enrolled and during the first commencement in June 1869, three young men received diplomas. Their diplomas were signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, and to this day, the diplomas of all Gallaudet graduates are signed by the presiding U.S. President.
As part of Gallaudet's 150th Anniversary in 2014, we hope to collect one original diploma for each year that Gallaudet conferred degrees. If you are interested, please send us your original diploma. Unfortunately we cannot accept scanned copies or commemorative versions. The originals of all the diplomas displayed here are housed in the Gallaudet Archives To donate your diploma, contact Kaitlin Luna, Coordinator of Media and Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-651-5505. In addition to Gallaudet diplomas, the Archives welcomes gifts of photographs, documents and memorabilia related to Gallaudet University and to deaf people-their lives, organizations, schools and culture. Visit the Archives Donations page for more information or contact the Archives at email@example.com. All images, scans of diplomas, and images of Gallaudet alumni are courtesy of the University Archives unless otherwise indicated.
Ulysses S. Grant-1869-1877Rutherford B. Hayes-1877-1881James A. Garfield-March-September 1881Chester A. Arthur-1881-1885Grover Cleveland-1885-1889Benjamin Harrison-1889-1893Grover Cleveland-1893-1897William McKinley-1897-1901Theodore Roosevelt-1901-1909William Howard Taft-1909-1913Woodrow Wilson-1913-1921Warren G. Harding-1921-1923Calvin Coolidge-1923-1929Herbert Hoover-1929-1933
Franklin D. Roosevelt-1933-1945Harry S. Truman-1945-1953Dwight D. Eisenhower-1953-1961John F. Kennedy-1961-1963Lyndon B. Johnson-1963-1969Richard M. Nixon-1969-1974Gerald Ford-1974-1977James "Jimmy" Carter-1977-1981Ronald Reagan-1981-1989George H. W. Bush-1989-1993William "Bill" Clinton-1993-2001George W. Bush-2001-2009Barack Obama-2009-present
Gallaudet University is a federally chartered private and premier university for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1864.
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Spring 2021 – Dec 12Fall 2021 – May 15