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Descendant of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet visits campus

January 28, 2022

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Molly Sturges, a member of the Gallaudet family, was in the Washington area recently, and could not head back home without visiting Gallaudet University for the first time. She visited campus with her partner, and was given a tour by Maguire Welcome Center student ambassadors. During the tour, student ambassadors pointed out iconic landmarks on our campus and explained the history behind them. The tour included House One, which was built for Gallaudet University’s founder and first president, Edward Miner Gallaudet, Molly’s great-great-grandfather. They also viewed the Edward Miner Gallaudet desk in the Office of the President in College Hall, his formal portrait in the National Deaf Life Museum, and several statues on campus, including the iconic Thomas Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell Statue.

Sturges lives on Martha’s Vineyard, a community once known for its large deaf population in the 19th and 20th century. Three years ago, Dr. David S. Martin, Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus, presented at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Martha’s Vineyard. Sturges was the musical accompanist that day at the Sunday service. Martin’s presentation is explained in depth in this article in the Vineyard Gazette.

Molly Sturges is the great-great-granddaughter of Edward Miner Gallaudet and great-great-great-granddaughter of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet on her mother’s side. In the book Voice of the Deaf, a biography of Edward Miner Gallaudet, there is a family tree which can also be found on this website about the Gallaudet family. Sturges’ mother is Janet Francis Gallaudet, whose name is on the bottom left of the Gallaudet family tree.

After her visit, Sturges said she now feels a stronger connection to her family’s legacy. She hopes to return to campus with other family members for a reunion.

28 January 2022

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Nikolya Sereda

Published Articles: 23

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