The article “Deaf President” takes the reader through the events of two Deaf President Now rallies that occurred in 1988 and 2006. Deaf President Now is a spark ignited and announced in 1988, the University Board Trustees at Gallaudet University elected a hearing person as the eighth president…
Edward Miner Gallaudet was the first person to serve as the University’s president, and he served for 46 years. The second president was Dr. Percival Hall, a hearing man who served as a campus leader for 36 years. His successor, who ruled for 25 years, Dr. Leonard M. Elstad, was also a hearing man. Dr. Edward C. Merrill became the fourth hearing president of the university and served between 1969 and 1983 (Orlans, 1989, P.8, C. 2, L.6). It was during the election period for the fifth president that motions for a deaf president began. However, that did not succeed because Dr. W. Lloyd Johns stood as the fifth president of the University. In 1983, Jerry Lee stepped in as the sixth president of Gallaudet University. In 1987, he decided to step down from his seat due to the rising rate of protests from students (Orlans, 1989, P.9, C.2, L.28). Immediately, the Board of Trustees established a committee and appointed a qualified person to assess the deaf and hearing aspirants who were vying for the presidential position. On February 28, 1988, the committee announced three presidential finalists: Dr. Harvey Corson and Dr. I. King Jordan, who were both deaf. Finally, Dr. Elizabeth Zinser was the third finalist and was a hearing person (Orlans, 1989, P.11, C.3, L.18). On March 6, 1988, the Board declared Dr. Elisabeth Zinser as the eighth president of Gallaudet University. That date marked the beginning of a weeklong protest from the stakeholders at Gallaudet University (Orlans, 1989, P.9, C.2, L.28). ...
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