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President Hurwitz receives honorary degree from Fresno State

April 24, 2013
Arrow Buff


Gallaudet University announced President T. Alan Hurwitz received the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from California State University, Fresno (Fresno State). Fresno State President John Welty recommended Hurwitz to receive the degree which was then approved by the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees. The CSU Board of Trustees oversees 23 campuses within the state making it one of the largest systems of higher education in the world.

Hurwitz was presented with the degree at the College of Health and Human Services Honors Convocation on Friday, May 10, 2013 by President Welty and Dr. Peter Mehas, a member of the CSU Board of Trustees.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized by Fresno State, President Welty, and the California State University Board of Trustees to receive the Doctor of Humane Letters degree,” said Hurwitz. “Fresno State has robust academic offerings in the fields of deaf education and deaf services for students who want to work with the deaf and hard of hearing community. I look forward to visiting the campus and attending convocation in May.”

“As a role model, Alan Hurwitz has had a great impact locally on the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people in our community. Not only has he visited our region and our campus, he has made a lasting impression on hundreds of our neighbors who were filled with the hope and inspiration that he provides. For our students and faculty, he has offered a clear path to academic success and spent countless hours interacting with not only the community at large, but our students, staff, and faculty during his visits. He is recognized as one of the pinnacles of leadership in the world of deaf education,” said President Welty.

Hurwitz became the tenth president of Gallaudet University on January 1, 2010. During his tenure, Hurwitz has overseen the creation of a University Council, in which a group of students, faculty, and staff advise him on university decisions of interest to the entire campus community; the ongoing establishment of four pre-graduate programs including law, medicine, architecture, and business; the opening of a world-class neuroimaging research laboratory; new relationships forged internationally and nationally in Beijing, Panama, and with the U.S. federal government; and the university’s first-ever tax-exempt bond issue which funded an innovative residence hall and energy conservation projects.

Hurwitz recently received the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District II Chief Executive Leadership Award and the Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering Alumni Achievement Award.

Prior to Gallaudet, Hurwitz was president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of eight colleges within the Rochester Institute of Technology. Hurwitz began his career in the engineering field.

Throughout his career, Hurwitz has been involved with many professional and deafness-related organizations. Hurwitz is currently chair of the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Presidents’ Council, the first deaf person to hold this position in NEAC history. He previously served as the NEAC Presidents’ Council vice-chair. Hurwitz is also a past president of the National Association of the Deaf as well as the World Organization of Jewish Deaf.

Hurwitz is widely published and he lectures extensively throughout the world on topics such as education, rights for people with disabilities, deaf culture, and American Sign Language.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.                             

California State University, Fresno is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University system and serves Central California’s growing population while interacting with the state, nation and world. Fresno State, with an enrollment of more than 22,000 students, is a minority-serving campus and a federally designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, reflecting the rich diversity of the region. The University offers 62 undergraduate degree programs and 45 master’s degree programs in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional disciplines emphasizing agriculture, business, engineering and technology, health and human services, and education. Fresno State also has established doctoral programs in educational leadership, physical therapy and nursing.

Kaitlin Luna, Coordinator of Media and Public Relations
(202) 448-7106 voice
(202) 250-2973 VP
(585) 507-1705 mobile/text

24 April 2013


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