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Dr. T. Alan Hurwitz has been appointed by the Board of Trustees as Gallaudet University’s tenth president. The announcement was made by Dr. Benjamin Soukup, chair of the Board of Trustees, on October 18 before an overflow crowd in the University’s Swindells Auditorium.
Hurwitz currently serves as president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of eight colleges within the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), and vice president and dean of RIT. He has worked at NTID/RIT since 1970, first as an instructor in RIT’s College of Engineering and, subsequently, as an NTID professor, department chair, dean, and the college’s president. Throughout his career he has been active in a variety of professional organizations, including serving as president of both the National Association of the Deaf and the World Organization of Jewish Deaf.
“In Dr. Alan Hurwitz the Board of Trustees has chosen a leader for Gallaudet who possesses an extensive and distinguished track record in the field of higher education for deaf and hard of hearing persons,” said Soukup. “This expertise, along with his commitment to Gallaudet’s unique mission and strategic plan, ensures that he is the right person to lead the University as it seeks to attract and educate students from a variety of educational and communication backgrounds.”
Dr. Soukup introduced Dr. Hurwitz and Gallaudet’s new first lady, Vicki Hurwitz, to the exuberant crowd that had assembled for the announcement. Hurwitz called the occasion “a very emotional time, as well as an exciting time for me and my wife, Vicki.” He thanked the Board of Trustees and the Gallaudet community “for their support and confidence in my selection,” he said. “I enthusiastically accept the appointment.”
Hurwitz, who will take office in January, succeeds Dr. Robert Davila, the University’s president since 2007. Hurwitz said, “I’m humbled to follow in Dr. Robert Davila’s footsteps,” and he praised the other finalists for the position, Dr. Roslyn Rosen, Dr. Ronald Stern, and Dr. Stephen Weiner, as “outstanding individuals. … I love all three of them.” Hurwitz said he looked forward to working closely with all the University’s constituents in pursuing Gallaudet’s mission and strategic goals.
Davila, who joined Hurwitz on the stage, remarked, “I’m confident he’ll do well,” and added that Gallaudet will be fortunate to benefit from “his wealth of skill and knowledge.” Noting that Hurwitz was wearing a Gallaudet jacket, Davila commented “one thing is missing,” and went over to the new president to attach a “Team Gallaudet” pin to his jacket.
In closing, Gallaudet University Alumni Association (GUAA) Board President Alyce Slater Reynolds congratulated Hurwitz on behalf of GUAA’s 17,000 members, and said, “We look forward to joining you on the journey we’re taking.”
Photos, from top: Portrait of T. Alan Hurwitz; Dr. Hurwitz, wearing a Gallaudet University windbreaker, addresses the audience in the Swindells Auditorium; the crowd reacts to the announcement; current president Dr. Robert Davila congratulates Hurwitz and his wife, Vicki, on the selection; Dr. Edward Bosso, dean of the Clerc Center, embraces Hurwitz; (from left) Board of Trustees Chair Benjamin Soukup, Hurwitz, and wife Vicki Hurwitz stand together following the announcement
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