AREA I: Alumni Relations and GUAA Activities

Overall Goal: To build a strong alumni association which will become the backbone of a better Gallaudet University.

The GUAA Bylaws stipulates that: "An Executive Director shall be appointed by the usual procedure of University Administrative appointments. He or she shall be a non voting ex-officio member of the Board. The Executive Director shall be the promotional officer of the Association, furthering the interests of local chapters and serving the general welfare of the Association. He or she, or his/her representative, shall perform any other appropriate duties assigned to him/her by the [GUAA] Board of Directors."

  1. Develop better teamwork. Develop strong relations between the University Administration and the GUAA Board of Directors. This may be accomplished by:
    1. More frequent meeting of the two groups.
    2. Better communication between the two groups.
    3. Use of the Director of Alumni Relations/GUAA Executive Director as liaison.
  2. Maintain a strong and active GUAA Chapter Program.
    1. Establish a network of GUAA Active and Liaison Chapters in as many localities as the number and enthusiasm of local Gallaudetians warrant.
    2. Utilize the GUAA Board of Directors, the University President, and other University officials in emphasizing the importance of a strong alumni association and the significance of alumni chapters.
      1. Letters
      2. Personal contacts
      3. Gallaudet Today Publication
      4. Gallaudet Homepage/Alumni Homepage
    3. Visit as many localities and talk to as many groups as possible.
    4. Assist chapters with the speaker program.
      1. GUAA Board and University Board of Trustees
      2. University Faculty/Staff
      3. Local leaders
      4. Talent Bureau of the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund (See the LCCF brochure.)
    5. Build and maintain positive contacts with current chapters and officers.
      1. Personal contacts
      2. Letters
      3. Service
    6. Provide worthwhile project ideas for chapters to undertake.
      1. Gallaudet Day and Charter Day programs
      2. Parent education programs
      3. American Sign Language and/or Deaf Culture classes
      4. Distribution of University publications to local schools for the deaf and libraries
      5. Annual local or tri-state banquets, wherever feasible
      6. Life membership dues
      7. Become actively involved with recruitment and fundraising
  3. Encourage alumni to become Life Members of the GUAA.
    1. In numbers, there is strength. It is imperative that alumni under-stand their obligation in supporting the mission of their alma mater.
      1. Personal contacts
      2. All out mail campaign
      3. Emphasize pride in doing one's share
      4. Letters
      5. Gallaudet Today Publication
      6. Assistance of chapters
      7. Assistance of GUAA officers
      8. Assistance of President
    2. Connect with Gallaudet students.
      1. Talk to all classes and student organizations
      2. Advertise in student publications (Tower Clock and Buff and Blue)
      3. Inform students of GUAA activities
    3. Encourage competition among classes.
      1. Percentage wise
      2. Total number of members
      3. Encourage election of permanent class officers
    4. Involvement: Involve students and alumni in as many activities as possible. Involvement encourages interest, enthusiasm, and loyalty.
AREA II: Public Relations

Each person who has any association with Gallaudet University (whether an employee, student, or alumnus) is our "walking" public relations advocate. Team effort is needed to develop a strong and positive public image. All departments of the University should be involved in this.

  1. Do our share to develop a better public image for Gallaudet University.
    1. Cooperate with all university departments in developing a strong public relations program.
    2. Keep our alumni informed through the Gallaudet Today publication and the Gallaudet and Alumni Homepages.
    3. Assist the Public Relations Office in providing information about our alumni.
    4. Prepare and publish profiles of successful alumni in brochure or booklet form.
    5. Print articles of interest by our alumni in brochure form for distribution; e.g., "The Pioneering Spirit of the Deaf" by Francis C. Higgins, '36.
    6. Remind the alumni of their responsibility as ambassadors and advocates of Gallaudet University.
  2. Seek the interest of the non Gallaudetian deaf people.
    1. A large segment of the deaf population which never attended Gallaudet University is sensitive about this. It should be our goal to encourage them to think of Gallaudet University as their university, whether they attended or not. All of us have the same goal access and opportunity for deaf and hard of hearing people.
    2. Advertise and contribute information (news items and the like) for insertion in deaf-related publications; e.g. Silent News. The objective would be to inform readers of our interest in addressing issues of broad interest of deaf communities everywhere.
AREA III: The Centennial Fund

In 1964, Gallaudet College celebrated the centennial of its founding. To commemorate this anniversary, the Gallaudet University Alumni Association presented the College with a half million dollars, a grateful contribution by Gallaudet alumni and friends. The Centennial Fund was divided into three separate funds: the Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund, the Graduate Fellowship Fund, and the Alumni House Fund. The objectives of each are defined as follows:

  1. Laurent Clerc Cultural Fund—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. The Fund may be devoted to such programs as are illustrated by the following:
    1. The endowment of four awards for meritorious achievement on behalf of deaf people.
      1. Laurent Clerc Award for outstanding social contributions by a deaf person.
      2. Alice Cogswell Award for valuable service in behalf of deaf people.
      3. Edward Miner Gallaudet Award to national or international leaders laboring to promote the growth and well being of deaf people of the world.
      4. Amos Kendall Award to a deaf person for notable excellence in a professional field not related to deafness.
    2. Community leadership
    3. Dramatics
    4. Educational programs
    5. Information Media
    6. Literature
    7. Memorials
    8. Motion picture production
    9. Talent bureau
    10. Research
  2. Graduate Fellowship Fund—"The purpose of the Gallaudet University Alumni Association 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.

    In the awarding of fellowships, preference shall be given, to the extent practicable, to candidates for the doctoral degree rather than candidates for the master's degree." (Proceedings, 1967 GCAA Reunion, p.17)
  3. Alumni House Fund
AREA IV: Cultural Center

"The Alumni House 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 offices, a domicile for an Alumni Secretary or similar representative, display and storage facilities, meeting rooms, accommodations for visiting alumni, space for conference rooms available for workshops relating to deaf people and their activities and other facilities of a similar or related nature. Upon agreement between the University and the Alumni Association, the building may include overnight quarters for visitors to the University, a dining room, lounge, library and conference facilities for the faculty of the University." (Proceedings, 1967 GUAA Reunion, p.18)

Goal: To help bring about the erection of a cultural center (alumni house) on Kendall Green.

  1. Sell the need for a cultural center to the alumni and to the public.
  2. Work with the Gallaudet University Office of development to find ways and means for raising funds for the construction of the cultural center.
  3. Work with the Alumni House Committee to bring about the realization of this building.
  4. Plan now for the day the building will be ready for occupancy by collecting material, heirlooms, works of art, books and the like.

NOTE: By agreement, "Ole Jim" was renovated into an Alumni house in 1982 and officially named the Peikoff Alumni House in 1995 by the Gallaudet Board of Trustees.

AREA V: Records

Goal: To develop and maintain a reliable records system.

  1. The Alumni Relations Office shall maintain all pertinent records on Gallaudet alumni such as addresses and phone numbers, class years, Greek affiliations, GUAA Life Membership, names of spouses, affinity affiliations, if any. All computer data shall be maintained in cooperation with other appropriate University units.
  2. Mailing list. Update our mailing list to the best of our ability and conduct activities as needed to track lost alumni.
  3. Supply GUAA chapters with computerized local listings and urge them to cooperate with the Alumni Relations Office in finding lost alumni and correcting wrong data.
  4. Information regarding financial data will be maintained in the confidential files of the Development Office.
  5. Develop confidence with a strict policy regarding all classified information. All records are confidential and may not be used without the consent of the Director of Alumni Relations and only in such cases of public relations, statistics for surveys and the like. No personal records, including individual addresses shall be given out to other persons.
AREA VI: Recruitment and Fund Raising

Goal: To assist the University in its recruitment and fund raising activities and to increase alumni involvement in these efforts.

  1. Because mainstreaming and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act have made it possible for an increasing number of young deaf people to attend colleges and universities other than Gallaudet University, the Office of Enrollment Services has developed a variety of recruitment activities to reach out to these potential students. Gallaudet alumni need to become more actively involved in the recruitment and retention effort.
  2. Congressional budget cuts have resulted in an overall University consensus that the University must work towards the goal of becoming less dependent on financial support from the federal government. Donations from alumni are essential and the Alumni Relations Office and the GUAA must work together to increase the percentage of annual alumni support.

Prepared by Dr. Jack R. Gannon, '59, GUAA Executive Secretary, 1968 1989 (January 1987)
Revised by Ms. Mary Anne Pugin, '71, GUAA Executive Director, 1989 - 2002 (December 2001)
Revised by Mr. Samuel M Sonnenstrahl, '79 & G-'84, GUAA Executive Director, 2002 (Winter 2005)