A panoramic view of Benson Hall, Clerc Hall, and Carlin Hall.
Our University residence halls are named after prominent figures in the histories of Gallaudet, the Deaf Community, and the Deaf Education field.
The Ballard Residential Complex is composed of two residence halls, Ballard North and Ballard West, that are very similar in design and square footage with some unique characteristics. Both residence halls have a winding and open stairway from the fourth floor to the first floor and were the first residence halls to have central air-conditioning.
Benson Hall is the University's first residence hall designed for co-ed living. Built in 1972 and is named after Elizabeth English Benson, a well-known educator and advocate for the deaf. Benson was a child of deaf adults (CODA) and gained recognition as a well-known interpreter who signed beautifully. She taught audiology and lipreading to graduate students and is considered a pioneer in the field of hearing evaluation. She interpreted for prominent individuals such as Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, Cardinal Francis Spellman, Members of Congress, and government officials. Benson also served as a First Lieutenant in the Women's Army Corps (WAC) during World War II and also attended law school so she could overcome her frustration with legal jargons and procedures while interpreting for deaf people in the courtroom. She was the Dean of Women, succeeding Elizabeth Peet in 1950. This residence hall houses first-year students.
Carlin Hall, the largest residence hall on campus built in 1979, is named after John Carlin, a prominent deaf artist who wrote poetry and children's stories. He wrote a famous poem, The Mute's Lament and The Stratchsides Family, a well-known children's book. He also gave lectures on various subjects and wrote columns in many leading publications for the Deaf. He played a major role in influencing Edward Miner Gallaudet to establish a college on Kendall Green, as our University is affectionally called, and because of that role, he became the first deaf person to be awarded an honorary degree from Gallaudet. This residence hall houses graduate students and some upperclassmen.
Clerc Hall is the first co-ed residence hall built in 1971. Named after Laurent Clerc, the first deaf teacher in the United States, the first deaf person to appear before the Congress of the United States to talk about establishing deaf public schools, and the first deaf person to receive an honorary Masters' degree from Trinity College. Clerc came from the French village of LaBalme. His family believed that he became deaf as a result of falling from his highchair into the kitchen fire where his right cheek was burned, hence the use of two fingers brushing across the right cheek in sign language. He came to America with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet to teach for 40 years at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in Hartford, Connecticut. This residence hall houses upperclassmen.
The Living and Learning Residence Hall 6 (LLRH6) is the newest addition to University housing. Built in 2012, LLRH6 is the first environment-friendly residence hall. A five-story residence hall with an emphasis on DeafSpace with a warm and welcoming feeling for residents. Built through an Integrated/Design Build Process where architects, builders, and university stakeholders were involved. LLRH6 is the first residence hall to have an exercise room for exclusive use by the residents. Please visit the Living and Learning Residence Hall 6 page to learn about the Integrated Design/Build process from the Campus Design and Planning Office. This residence hall houses second-year students and some upperclassmen.
Peet Hall was built in 1957 and is the oldest residence hall on campus. It was originally built as a women's residence hall and remained so until 1980 when it became co-ed. Named after Dr. Elizabeth Peet who practically grew up in the Deaf Community. Her mother was deaf and her father was an educator of the Deaf. Her grandfather and father were successive principals of the New York School for the Deaf. After passing the Harvard entrance examinations, she stayed with her father until his death in 1889 and her mother passed on in 1891. She came to Gallaudet in 1900 to teach at Kendall School and the college. Dr. Peet received her Bachelor's from George Washington University in 1918. She received three honorary degrees: Masters' from Gallaudet in 1923, Doctor of Pedagogy from the George Washington University in 1937, and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Gallaudet in 1950. She also received a special certificate from the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Fluent in Latin, English, French, and Spanish as well as being a strict teacher, a mother, a nurse, and a kindly guidance counselor ... all of these qualities made her known as a Kendall Green Mother. The residence hall houses upperclassmen.
Ballard House, Fay House, and, Denison House, in the University's Historic District, as part of Faculty Row are named after prominent Gallaudet figures such as Melville Ballard, Charles Fay, and James Denison.
You can view the Gallaudet University Campus Map here.