Understanding the growth of Gallaudet University and its purpose is best done by viewing it through two lenses: People and Places. These two lenses apply to another unit as well: the home. A home can be defined as a building, just as Gallaudet can be defined as its campus. A home can also be defined by its family, as Gallaudet can be defined by its students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The people and the place are intricately linked - in the home and at Gallaudet.
This first permanent exhibit invites visitors to examine the role of Gallaudet as home. For Deaf people around the world, the idea of Gallaudet represents a place where you can feel as though you are with family. Like any family, the Gallaudet community has experienced joys and sorrows, hardships and celebrations. The campus, too, has grown, even as the city has grown around it.
The growth of Gallaudet University is also, in some ways, the growth of the Deaf community in America; as one of the nation's oldest institutions for the Deaf and hard of hearing, it has seen the emergence of state and national associations of the Deaf, the recognition of sign language by the linguistic community, and the increase in accessibility made possible by new laws and technology.
This exhibit exemplifies the idea of mapping the future, guided by the past.
Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond