I. King Jordan, Jr.
8th president of Gallaudet University
A near-fatal motorcycle accident at age 21 proved to be the turning point of Dr. Jordan’s life. Profoundly deafened, he rebuilt his life and, realizing that his deafness wasn’t temporary, enrolled at Gallaudet College and learned to sign. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology, he earned an M.A. at University of Tennessee, returned to Gallaudet, joined the Department of Psychology, and ultimately became departmental chair and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He was popular, famed for having an open office. In March 1988, during the “Deaf President Now” uprising at Gallaudet, Dr. Jordan achieved international prominence. His appointment as Gally’s first deaf president made him a celebrity. He has led Gally through several controversies and bitter political divisions, always expressing uncommon sense, inclusion, acceptance, tolerance of differences, and friendship.