:: Gallaudet University | Gallaudet announces million-dollar donations at groundbreaking ceremony ::

Gallaudet announces million-dollar donations at groundbreaking ceremony

Gallaudet announced two $1 million donations from Sorenson Legacy Foundation and Sorenson Communications Inc., at the April 4 groundbreaking for the James Lee Sorenson Language and Communication Center (SLCC).

The SLCC, set to open in 2008, will create a visu-centric space for collaborative learning, teaching, and research in an environment supported by and created from Gallaudet’s commitment to American Sign Language (ASL) and visual learning. The building will serve not only as a model for academic collaboration at Gallaudet but will also serve as an architectural exemplar for all future construction projects at the University.

Gallaudet launched the $28 million campaign to construct the language and communication center in January 2004. So far, the Sorenson Legacy Foundation has donated $4 million, and Sorenson Communication Inc. has given $3 million.

“The SLCC is very much a deaf and ASL-centered building which promotes collaborative efforts in teaching, learning, research and service and we are honored to have such important and generous benefactors as the Sorenson Legacy Foundation and Sorenson Communications,” Gallaudet University President Dr. Robert Davila said. “The planning of the SLCC marks the first time in history where deaf people provided this level of in-depth input on the visual-centered nature of the building. All designs were developed with the understanding that ASL will be the primary face-to-face language used in the building.”

The University plans to move several departments under one roof, with the goal of fostering coordinated efforts across academic disciplines. The SLCC will house the following departments:

  • ASL and Deaf Studies
  • Communication Studies
  • Government and History
  • Hearing, Speech, and Language Sciences
  • Linguistics
  • Sociology

In addition to these academic departments, the SLCC will also have a student media center, classrooms, collaboration rooms, video relay service booths, and house Gallaudet’s Hearing and Speech Center. There are also plans underway to create a deaf history timeline in the building that will recognize and celebrate the richness of deaf culture and the community.

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