The Fund

The Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund is one of three separate funds within the half-million dollar Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) Centennial Fund that was presented to Gallaudet in commemoration of its centennial anniversary in 1964. This fund is named in honor of Laurent Clerc, the young deaf Frenchman who left his homeland in 1816 to come with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and become a teacher of deaf students in America.

This fund originally comprised one-fourth of the Centennial Fund. Its principal has been established by the University as a permanent endowment. Its investment is the responsibility of the GUAA Board of Directors.

The Purpose of the Fund

By agreement between the Gallaudet University Alumni Association and the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University, the income from the investment of the fund shall be used to promote projects and activities that will lead to the cultural enrichment of deaf people. The fund may be devoted to programs such as the following:

  • Endowment of four awards for meritorious achievement:
    • The Laurent Clerc Award for outstanding social contributions by a deaf person.
    • The Alice Cogswell Award for valuable service on behalf of deaf people.
    • The Edward Miner Gallaudet Award to international or national leaders, deaf or hearing, working to promote the well-being of deaf people of the world.
    • The Amos Kendall Award to a deaf person for notable excellence in a professional field not related to deafness.
  • Community leadership in which public speaking, civic responsibility, literary activities, and the arts are encouraged for the benefit of adult deaf people.
  • Dramatics.
  • Educational programs for parents of deaf children, for those involved in training deaf people, and for deaf adults.
  • Information media to foster communication within the deaf community and between deaf and hearing people.
  • Literature.
  • Memorials in the form of portraits, sculpture, and other comparable media.
  • Motion picture and television production such as documentary, entertainment, and visual instructional aids.
  • Talent Bureau to bring to the deaf community top-grade performing artists and speakers.
  • Research relating to deafness.

Administration of the Fund

The fund is administered by a committee of seven members appointed by the Gallaudet University Alumni Association, upon the recommendation of the committee.

Each member serves for a term of three years. A member may be reappointed but may not serve more than two consecutive three-year terms. The executive secretary of the GUAA or a representative is an ex-officio member of this committee.

Subject to the approval of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association Board, the committee shall determine the manner in which the fund shall function, within the purposes stated above. The goals of the fund may be carried out by individuals who request grants from the fund or by ad hoc committees appointed by the committee.

Applying for Grants

Grant applications will be reviewed by the committee once a year. The application deadline is April 1. All requests will be given careful consideration, and all decisions will be made known, in writing, to the people making the requests as soon as possible. Requests of a special or emergency nature will be brought to the attention of the committee promptly.

Address all correspondence to the:

Chair, LCCF Committee
Peikoff Alumni House
Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave., NE
Washington, DC 20002-3695

The Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund is yet another legacy of Gallaudet's grateful alumni and friends. Other funds maintained by the GUAA are the Graduate Fellowship Fund, for financial assistance to deaf scholars pursuing studies on the doctoral level, and the Alumni House Endowment Fund, for the maintenance of "Ole Jim." Donations to these funds are solicited and will be gratefully acknowledged.

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