A world-class institute of changemakers in the deaf and signing community.
Since 1864, we have been investing in and creating resources for deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
Over 50 degree programs, with online and continuing education for personal and professional development.
Innovating solutions to break down barriers, and using science to prove what does and doesn’t work.
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The current museum exhibit is shown. Photo by Zhee Chatmon.
When the first museum was established 2,500 years ago, at the end of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, it displayed antiquities from earlier Mesopotamian civilizations; its founder, Princess Ennigaldi, could not have imagined the “cabinets of curiosities” that would follow.
Similarly, Elias Ashmole, whose cabinet became the world’s first university museum in 1678, could not have dreamed of the massive collections that would follow in the “Museum Age” of the early 20th century, nor could the founders of those museums have foreseen the interpretive work that modern museums do today.
Top American museums of the 21st century now work to meet the standards of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the nation’s largest non-profit dedicated to advancing museum practice and museum professionals.
Written in 2007, the founding documents of the Gallaudet University Museum stated that AAM accreditation was one of the top priorities for Gallaudet’s new educational treasure. Receiving accreditation from AAM is evidence that a museum has been validated as meeting best standards and practices, and shows funders, policy makers, and peers that the museum has a profound impact on its visitors and community.
After more than 10 years of start-up projects, exhibition development, and educational partnerships on and off campus, the Gallaudet University Museum staff is proceeding on AAM’s path toward accreditation.
Accreditation for many units at Gallaudet is a multi-year process, and the museum is no exception. Although the museum was accepted into the 2018 cohort for AAM’s Museum Assessment Program (MAP), that one-year process is only the beginning of the national accreditation process. Through interviews and extensive documentation, the MAP guides museums through self-assessment, institutional activities, and consultative peer review, which will provide Gallaudet University Museum staff with an analysis of the museum’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, along with a prioritized roadmap for improving operations and meeting standards. The process documents just how closely the museum is connected with every aspect of campus life, from students and faculty to departments and organizations.
The MAP projects, along with AAM’s Core Documents Validation, ensure museums meet core standards, which have evolved along with museum practices. Today, the standards include public trust and accountability-a critical responsibility at Gallaudet, where sharing the story of the diverse deaf community respectfully and accurately requires museum staff to understand their role of public service and education.
The Gallaudet University Museum serves the campus community, including alumni, through exhibitions and programming that highlight the intersectionality of the deaf community. The museum is also part of Gallaudet’s “front porch” and educates the community at large about what it means to be deaf-and, conversely, what it means to be hearing.
The Gallaudet University Museum’s first exhibition, Olof Hanson: Conspicuous Leader (1862-1933), opened in the Weyerhaeuser Family Art Gallery and Exhibition Hall in 2009. Curated by Tabitha Jacques, ’06, the exhibition can be viewed today on the lower level of Chapel Hall. Photo courtesy of Meredith Peruzzi.
Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...
Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...
James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...
Meredith Peruzzi, ’11
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