December 09, 2016

Author: Adham Talaat, '14

President Emeritus T. Alan Hurwitz's portrait now hangs in the Gallaudet Museum, located in Chapel Hall.

The portrait hanging of President Emeritus T. Alan Hurwitz, painted by famed portraitist Cedric Egeli, took place immediately following the Alumni Emeriti Club induction ceremony on October 28, 2016. A large, enthusiastic crowd flocked to the Gallaudet Museum in Chapel Hall to witness the ceremony and celebrate the pivotal achievements brought to the University under Hurwitz's leadership.

"I was in awe of the hanging ceremony; proud and emotional from the reality of the portrait of Alan being on the wall with the past presidents," said former First Lady Vicki Hurwitz. "I was touched by those who expressed their love and appreciation for Cedric and Joanette Egeli's work with the portrait."

Hurwitz served as the 10th president of Gallaudet University from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2015. Egeli's father, Bjorn, painted the portrait of President Emeritus Leonard M. Elstad, G-'23.

The portrait shows Hurwitz standing relaxed, with his right hand on his hip, grasping a smartphone holstered to belt. This is emblematic of his legacy, symbolizing heritage and transformation.

Not originally planned as part of his portrait, the phone would help him get through sessions at Egeli's studio. With each of the six sessions during a six-month period, Hurwitz would have to pose three to four hours, and in the beginning, he could not relax.

"I am not very good at modeling," said Hurwitz during an interview for 2016 fall issue of Gallaudet Today. "Egeli's wife suggested I do a John Wayne stance. My right hand immediately went to my hip, and I relaxed. In my "holster" was my smartphone, which is my lifeline. I depend on this technology and its 24/7 communication access. So we decided from then on that it would be part of my portrait."

During his tenure, Hurwitz pioneered numerous additions to Gallaudet, including new doctoral programs in educational neuroscience and interpretation; pre-professional programs in medicine and healthcare, law, business, architecture, and technology; a Master's in Public Administration; the Maguire Academy of Risk Management and Insurance; securing Gallaudet's first ever bond issue for new residence halls utilizing DeafSpace design concepts; navigating the University through a sequestration, resulting in a $1 million surplus the following year; redesigning the University's current logo accentuating its bilingual mission; and playing a pivotal role in restarting the Sixth Street Development project (as part of the 2022 Campus Master Plan).

Photo by Zhee Chatmon