The Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) was founded in 1889.
The GUAA has three objectives according to the GUAA Bylaws:
- To preserve and increase the influence and prestige of Gallaudet University as an institution of higher education for the deaf.
- To address those concerns that affect the welfare of the Deaf in general, especially those associated with education.
- To perpetuate the friendships formed during college life and to promote social and fraternal relations among alumni of different college generations.
The GUAA represents more than 18,000 alumni of Gallaudet University who live across the United States and around the world. Currently, there are more than 8,000 Life Members and 56 chapters in the U.S., in Japan and Canada. The Association is governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by alumni Life Members of the GUAA. The Association strives to keep the alumni informed of University and alumni news through Gallaudet Today, the university's magazine and newsletter, and by way of the Internet. The Association, along with the University's Office of Alumni Relations, is headquartered in the Peikoff Alumni House ("Ole Jim"). The Office of Alumni Relations works in conjunction with the GUAA on many of its programs and also maintains alumni addresses and other data.
The GUAA Board of Directors serves a four-year term and is elected through an international ballot coordinated by a GUAA chapter and involving all alumni GUAA Life Members. Only Active Life Members (those who have graduated from Gallaudet) are eligible to be elected to the offices of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Board Member for the Home, East, Middle, and West Regions. The Board also includes two Members at Large and the Executive Director. See below to learn about the current board members.
The GUAA maintains an alumni network throughout its 52 chapters. Each chapter has its own bylaws, consistent with the GUAA Bylaws, conducts its own elections, and sponsors its own programs and activities to support themselves, the GUAA, and the University.