From 1961-1967 the Alumni Association, with Dr. David Peikoff, '29 as chairman, conducted a vigorous nationwide Centennial Fund drive raising $325,000 in cash and roughly $75,000 in pledges. This money was formally presented to the University on June 21, 1967. The agreement between the University and the Association specifies the following three purposes:
The purpose of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association Graduate Fellowship Fund shall be to provide deaf graduates of Gallaudet University and other accredited colleges and universities with an improved opportunity to prepare themselves through graduate study at colleges and universities for people who hear normally, for cultural and intellectual attainment through training in the arts, the humanities, the natural and social sciences, the professions, community leadership, and through other similar opportunities.
The purpose of the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund shall be to promote those projects and activities which will lead to the cultural enrichment of those in the deaf community.
Original purpose: The Alumni House Maintenance Fund shall be used for the purpose of designing, erecting and maintaining a multi-purpose building on Kendall Green or in its immediate vicinity which may provide for office, a domicile for an Alumni Secretary or similar representative, display and storage facilities, meeting rooms, accommodations for visiting alumni, space for conference rooms for workshops relating to deaf people and their activities and other facilities of a similar or related nature.
A new building: In 1969 the Alumni House Committee contracted Hilbert Duning, a deaf architect, who completed preliminary drawings of a building which would cost around $1.5 million. Because of the insufficient amount of funds on hand, no further work was done on this project.
Renovating 'Ole Jim: In 1978, the College and the Alumni Association Board agreed to redefine the purpose of the Fund and use the monies to renovate 'Ole Jim, the College's 1881 gymnasium into an Alumni House. An intensive fund raising campaign was implemented and co-chaired by Alan B. ('32) and Florence Bridges ('35) Crammatte and David ('29) and Pauline Nathanson (E-'36) Peikoff. Renovations were completed in 1982.
Official name: In 1995, in honor of David and Polly Peikoff, the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees officially named 'Ole Jim the Peikoff Alumni House.