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Celebrating the Accomplishments of our Graduating Students

Commencement 2024

Save the Date for Commencement 2025

Friday, May 16, 2025

Join the Celebration

A graduating female signing "ILY" to the camera

Commemorating our Graduating Class of 2024

Family, friends, and community members will gather to celebrate our graduating students’ accomplishments as they receive their diplomas on Friday, May 10, 2024, at the Field House.

The ceremonies will be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook for those who can’t attend in person.

Graduate Commencement Ceremony

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

Tickets are required to attend commencement ceremonies in person

Tickets are by invitation of a graduating student
For other ticketing questions or concerns, please contact please contact the Commencement Committee.

Keynote Speakers

The commencement keynote speaker for each ceremony is a notable figure selected to offer advice and reflections to our graduating classes as they prepare to share their knowledge and skills gained at privatewith the world.

This year, we are honored to have two keynote speakers 鈥 Alfred Sonnenstrahl, a lifetime advocate for telecommunications access, will keynote the graduate ceremony, and Dr. Madan Vasishta, a renowned educator and author, will be the keynote presenter for the undergraduate ceremony.

Alfred Sonnenstrahl, a man wearing a suit

Alfred Sonnenstrahl

Doctor of Humane Letters

Graduate Ceremony Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

Dr. Madan Vasishta

Doctor of Humane Letters

Undergraduate Ceremony Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

Student Commencement Speakers

These students speakers will share their journeys, insights, and advice to their graduating classes to prepare them for the future after 麻豆传媒高清. It is an honor for these students to be selected as Undergraduate or Graduate Commencement Speaker.

privatehas selected undergraduate and graduate students to speak to their graduating classes since 1991. If you would like to know who were our previous student speakers, our Archives and Deaf Collections updates the list annually.

Aanuoluwapo 鈥淎anu鈥 Omoleye

Aanuoluwapo 鈥淎anu鈥 Omoleye

Master of Arts, International Development

Graduate Class of 2024 Speaker

Micah Lovell

Micah Lovell

Bachelor of Arts in Social Work with a minor in Psychology

Undergraduate Class of 2024 Speaker

Faculty Emerit

Dr. Tom Baldridge

Dr. Tom Baldridge

Professor Emerit

Mr. Willy Conley

Professor Emerit

Dr. Jane Nickerson, G-鈥83

Professor Emerit

Commencement Awards

Each year in May, we recognize the accomplishments of students who have demonstrated academic excellence and exceptional leadership in their fields.

Please join us in celebrating our Award recipients and their outstanding scholarly achievements!

Past Commencements

Join previous classes in reliving the memories and inspiration of their graduation ceremonies.

Watch below and be inspired by the words of these accomplished leaders such as notable speakers including Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum of Mount Holyoke College and author, Dr. Annelies Kusters of Heriot-Watt University, Scotland, Dr. Naomi Caselli of Boston University, and so many more.

Stay up to date on all Gallaudet happenings, both stories and initiatives with our Signing community!

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FAQs

  • These recommendations are intended for graduating students who test positive for COVID prior to commencement. Graduating students who show symptoms of COVID will not be allowed to attend the ceremony.
  • Students with COVID within days 1-5, who are not showing active symptoms such as cough and/or fever will be allowed to sit in a designated room in the fieldhouse apart from the commencement ceremony and will watch the event on TV in the separate area. They will be brought into the ceremony by a volunteer worker and walk on stage to receive their degrees and then return to the designated space to watch the rest of the ceremony.
  • Students can test out after their 5th day of isolation to return to daily activities and attend commencement activities as normal, but should mask up until day 10.聽
    • This includes walking on the stage.聽
  • Students with COVID and not showing symptoms should be masked up at all times while sitting in the designated room.
  • Exception to the mask policy: Students will be allowed to walk at the end of the ceremony with a modified walk that could include mask removal for a brief amount of time for photographs.
  • There will be no attendance for rehearsal.

Tickets are required for entrance to commencement. You must have a ticket by invitation of a graduating student, or be a volunteer, to attend.

Alfred 鈥淪onny鈥 Sonnenstrahl

Alfred 鈥淪onny鈥 Sonnenstrahl grew up in New York and attended public schools there, including P.S. 47 and the prestigious, selective Stuyvesant High School. He parlayed his New York University degree in mechanical engineering into a career with the United States Department of the Navy, but felt an inexorable pull to serve his fellow Deaf citizens. After earning his master鈥檚 degree in administration and supervision, he became a leader in Michigan, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. The thousands of deaf people who worked for the United States Postal Service and the thousands more who secured jobs with the 鈥淏ig Three鈥 automakers all owe him a debt of gratitude.聽

In mid-career, Sonny segued to telecommunications access, melding his engineering and technological acumen with his well-honed bent for advocacy. In so doing, he earned the respect and admiration of several Federal Communications Commission members, including its former chair Reed Hundt. In recent years, he has become nationally renowned for his work with deaf senior citizens and for forging a relationship with the American Association of Retired Persons.

During his address to the graduate Class of 2024, Sonny will talk about being creative and thinking outside the box. He will also be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Dr. Madan Vasishta

Dr. Madan Vasishta is from India. He became deaf at age 11. His local school could not accommodate his needs, so he worked on his family farm for nine years, herding cattle, cutting grass, milking cows and water buffaloes, plowing fields, and collecting cow dung to be used as fertilizer. As a young adult, he became a photographer. This led to a chance encounter with a deaf woman from the United States who told him about Gallaudet College. Three years later, thanks to the support of his family and friends, he entered Gallaudet. Madan earned bachelor鈥檚, master鈥檚, and doctoral degrees at Gallaudet, and had an illustrious career as a linguistics researcher, teacher, and educational administrator. He is a hero in India, where he changed the course of deaf education and established organizations to advocate and safeguard the rights of deaf people.聽

His four sign language dictionaries, the K-12 and teacher training curriculums he created, and the relationships he forged with the government and the education community have benefitted generations of Deaf citizens of India. In the United States, Madan led the Eastern North Carolina and New Mexico Schools for the Deaf, and taught master鈥檚 and doctoral students in administration and supervision.

Madan will share his life story and valuable life lessons with the undergraduate Class of 2024. He will also be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Aanuoluwapo 鈥淎anu鈥 Omoleye

Aanuoluwapo 鈥淎anu鈥 Omoleye grew up in Ekiti State, Nigeria. She earned her bachelor鈥檚 degree in special education with a minor in economics from the University of Ibadan. While in Nigeria, she actively volunteered with many youth and disability rights organizations and held multiple leadership positions. In the fall of 2022, Aanu began her master鈥檚 degree in the International Development M.A. program and served as the program鈥檚 graduate assistant. She led Gallaudet international tea parties and co-organized the international student scholarship fund. Over three semesters鈥 time, she worked with the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of International Affairs.

As a first year student, Aanu was selected for the highly competitive graduate fellows program of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. This gave her the opportunity to learn more about the United Nations system and participate in two major events at U.N. Headquarters in New York, including the 78th General Assembly. She also served as vice president of the African Student Union and won first place during Gallaudet鈥檚 Sixth Annual Student Bison Tank for her innovative social enterprise, AbleBooks Africa.
During her second year, Aanu was selected by Google as a student essay award winner to attend their first-ever Product Inclusion and Equity Summit in California. The National Disability Mentoring Coalition selected her as a Dinah F. B. Cohen Dream Fellow.

In January 2024, Aanu joined the International Labour Organization 鈥 a United Nations agency, as the gender and disability inclusion intern at the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. She had previously interned at privateTies U.S. in Washington, D.C., supporting their international education and diplomacy work.

After receiving Gallaudet鈥檚 Student Bison Tank prize and the Tony Elumelu Foundation Award, Aanu started AbleBooks Africa and currently leads a team of five creatives and over 70 volunteers. Her organization has published its first storybook, Dolly鈥檚 World, and sent 1000 copies to over 25 Deaf schools in 20 Nigerian states. The organization is set to release two additional storybooks by June and July 2024 and will expand its outreach to three more African countries.

Upon graduation, Aanu hopes to continue supporting disability-inclusion advocacy efforts in her country and work with local and international organizations to advance disability rights and social justice globally.

Micah Allure Lovell

Micah Allure Lovell is a Deaf BlaQueer transmasc nonbinary student studying social work with a minor in psychology. Raised in New York City, they attended St. Joseph School for the Deaf until fourth grade before transitioning to public schools as the only deaf student. In ninth grade, they were fortunate enough to become a Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Scholar. This free, eight-year academic program primarily serves low-income high school students of color in New York City and San Francisco. This nonprofit organization equipped Micah with the necessary academic skills and resources to graduate from high school and gain admission to twelve colleges.

Micah moved to Washington, D.C. at 17 years old to attend 麻豆传媒高清. When they arrived on campus during the summer of 2018, they joined the JumpStart Program to reacclimate with the Deaf community. That first day of JumpStart was only the beginning of a new era of Micah that others would grow to know and love today. Although Micah is ironically an introvert, they grew as a natural advocate with their gift for working with people. They have taken on leadership positions in various departments and organizations such as the ALLStar Lab, Rainbow Society, Peer Advisor Program, JumpStart, and Youth Programs.

In their final undergraduate year, Micah juggled many responsibilities as president of Rainbow Society, an LGBTQ+ student organization, and Outreach Coordinator at Multicultural Student Programs (MSP). They produced a documentary, Trans Visibility Now, about transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse students at Gallaudet for their Honors Capstone project. Many people describe Micah as a 鈥渂eautiful soul鈥 as they deeply engage with others and listen to their stories. They are passionate about their black and brown trans queer siblings and committed to uplifting marginalized groups. What SEO Scholars does for underserved youth is powerful, and it is Micah鈥檚 vision to start a similar nonprofit organization for Deaf and hard of hearing youth across the country.