Thank you for a very interesting question.
Biography: Dr. I. King Jordan, President
"I. King Jordan made history in 1988 when he became the first deaf
president of Gallaudet University, the world's only university with
all programs and services designed specifically for students who are
deaf and hard of hearing. That year Gallaudet students, with support
from many alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University,
protested the Board of Trustees' appointment of a hearing person to
Called Deaf President Now (DPN), the week-long protest was a watershed
event in the lives of deaf and hard of hearing people all over the
world. At its conclusion, the Board reversed its decision and named I.
King Jordan, one of three finalists for the position, the eighth
president of Gallaudet and the first deaf president since the
institution was established in 1864.
Since DPN, I. King Jordan's leadership has heightened public awareness
of the important educational contributions Gallaudet makes to the
nation and the world. He serves as an international spokesperson for
deaf and hard of hearing people, as well as an advocate for all
persons with disabilities. Much sought after as a public speaker, Dr.
Jordan continues to challenge the American public to examine their
attitudes toward people with disabilities and to open their minds,
hearts and workplaces to them.
Dr. Jordan is a native of Glen Riddle, Pennsylvania, a small town near
Philadelphia. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the
U.S. Navy and served four years. An automobile accident left him
profoundly deaf at age 21.
Dr. Jordan earned a B.A. in psychology from Gallaudet in 1970. The
following year he earned an M.A., and in 1973 a Ph.D., both in
psychology and both from the University of Tennessee.
Upon receiving his doctorate, Dr. Jordan joined the faculty of
Gallaudet's Department of Psychology. In 1983 he became chair of the
department; three years later he was appointed dean of the College of
Arts and Sciences.
As professor, department chair, dean, and president, Dr. Jordan has
made numerous scholarly contributions to his field. In addition, he
has been a research fellow at Donaldson's School for the Deaf in
Edinburgh, Scotland, an exchange scholar at Jagiellonian University in
Krakow, Poland, and a visiting scholar and lecturer at schools in
Paris, Toulouse, and Marseille, France.
Dr. Jordan holds eleven honorary degrees and is the recipient of
numerous awards, among them: the Presidential Citizen's Medal, the
Washingtonian of the Year Award, the James L. Fisher Award from the
Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Larry
Stewart Award from the American Psychological Association, and the
Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association for
Community Leadership. In 1990, President George Bush appointed Dr.
Jordan Vice Chair of the President's Committee on Employment of People
with Disabilities (PCEPD). In 1993, President Clinton reappointed Dr.
Jordan Vice Chair of PCEPD.
Dr. Jordan and his wife, Linda, live on the Gallaudet campus in the
historic Edward Miner Gallaudet residence. They have two grown
children, I. King III, a bioinformaticist at National Institutes of
Health in Washington, D.C., and Heidi, a teacher at the Florida School
for the Deaf.
On September 1, 2005, Dr. Jordan announced that he will retire as
president on December 31, 2006. In October 2005 the Board of Trustees
began the search process for Gallaudet's next president."
S RES 411
Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Submitted in the Senate,
considered, and agreed to without amendment and with a preamble by
A resolution recognizing a milestone in the history of Gallaudet University.
Sen Harkin, Tom [IA]
The Library of Congress THOMAS
(cached version of page - copy and paste URL)
Recognizing a milestone in the history of Gallaudet University
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES March 28, 2006
"Whereas, in 1988, Dr. I. King Jordan became the first deaf President
of Gallaudet University, and the first deaf president of any
institution of higher education in the United States;"
"Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan graduated from Gallaudet University in
1970 with a B.A. in Psychology, and received both a master's degree
and a doctorate in Psychology from University of Tennessee by 1973;
Whereas, before his appointment as president, Dr. I. King Jordan
served as the Chair of the Department of Psychology and Dean of the
College of Liberal Arts and Science at Gallaudet University;
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan was a research fellow at Donaldson's School
for the Deaf in Edinburgh, Scotland, an exchange scholar at
Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, and a lecturer at schools
in Paris, Toulouse, and Marseille, France;
Whereas, from 1997 to 2001, Dr. I. King Jordan led the first
comprehensive capital campaign for Gallaudet University and
successfully raised nearly $40,000,000, which was used by the
University to strengthen academic programs, increase the endowment,
and construct the Student Academic Center;
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan established the President's Fellow program
to increase the number of deaf and hard of hearing faculty members by
providing support for deaf and hard of hearing college graduates to
complete their terminal degree;
Whereas in 1988, Dr. I. King Jordan proclaimed to the world, `Deaf
people can do anything, except hear.';
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan is a strong advocate on the national and
international level for deaf people and people of all disabilities,
and was a lead witness in support of the Americans with Disabilities
Act of 1990 (in this resolution referred to as the `ADA') during a
joint session of Congress prior to the passage of ADA;
Whereas in July 2005, Dr. I. King Jordan received the George Bush
Medal for the Empowerment of People with Disabilities, an award
established to honor those individuals who perform outstanding service
to encourage the spirit of ADA throughout the world;
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan served in the Navy from 1962 to 1966;
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan has shared nearly 38 years of marriage with
Linda Kephart, with whom he has two children, King and Heidi;
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan is a strong supporter of physical fitness
and has completed more than 200 marathons and 40 100-mile marathons;
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan will retire as the first deaf president of
Gallaudet University on December 31, 2006; and
Whereas Dr. I. King Jordan is an accomplished, respected leader who
devoted his life to Gallaudet University and efforts to improve the
quality of life for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and
individuals with disabilities: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) Recognizes the achievements of Gallaudet University; its
leadership, faculty, and students; and
(2) expresses appreciation to Dr. I. King Jordan for his many years of
dedicated service to Gallaudet University, to the deaf and hard of
hearing community, and to all individuals with disabilities."
National Association of the Deaf
Dr. Jordan Resolution
"The House of Representatives introduced a resolution (House
Resolution 680) outlining Gallaudet President Dr. I. King Jordan?s
accomplishments. The resolution congratulates Dr. Jordan on his
retirement and "expresses appreciation to Dr. I. King Jordan for his
many years of dedicated service to Gallaudet University, to the deaf
and hard of hearing community, and to all individuals with
Here are portions of a speech given by Dr. Jordan outlining his life.
Special Guest Speaker I. King Jordan
"I am late deafened. I became deaf at age 21."
"... you may want to hear about my personal adjustment to deafness. As
I said, I grew up hearing, in a hearing family, in a regular school,
in rural America. During that time I don?t think that I ever met a
deaf person. I never thought about deafness. Then all
of a sudden I had a motorcycle accident, and became a deaf man. The
doctors told me that my deafness was temporary. I was in the U.S.
navy. It was 1965. They didn't know deafness, because in the military,
there aren't any deaf people, and they encouraged me to
believe that I should not be concerned about my hearing because I
would soon become hearing again?which was exactly what I wanted to
hear. I held onto that belief much, much too long. This is a textbook
example of how not to adjust to deafness, for I stayed
in denial for years and years. I thought of myself as a hearing person
who couldn't hear.
This is an important distinction. I'm not sure when I realized I was a
deaf man. I went to a program at Walter Reed in 1953 for adjusting to
deafness and I don't have one single
memory, because I knew it wasn't for me. They put me there and I had
to go. It was an order. It was for deaf and hard of hearing people,
and I was, after all, a hearing person who could not hear. So I didn't
pay any attention. I gained nothing.
In my family the goal was to go to college. I really wanted to go, so
I went to Gallaudet. But I went as a hearing person who couldn't hear.
I couldn?t sign. I couldn't fingerspell. I can remember my first
class, with a wonderful chemistry professor, who signed without
talking at all and I went through that first class with no idea what
to do. Gallaudet was a wonderful experience all in all, but I know if
I had gone as a deaf person, I could have gained so much more.
I then went to the University of Tennessee graduate school?again as a
hearing person who couldn't hear. It was hard. This was 1969 and the
field of interpreting didn't exist. In 1969, family or friends or
anyone who was willing to help you did interpreting. I went to class,
and I asked people to take notes for me. That was my total support
I have heard some people talk about the faking it. We all do that? we
smile and nod, when we really don't understand. I did a lot of
pretending. And while I did have a great graduate experience, I know
that if I had only insisted that people repeat and acknowledged to
them that I was a deaf person it would have been far better."
"I can't put a date on when I became a deaf man. One day I was a
hearing man who couldn't hear, and the next day I was a deaf man. I
can't tell you exactly when that happened, but I am very glad that it
did. Once I was able to acknowledge my deafness, life became easier.
My family and I became skilled signers only after I decided I was a
deaf person. In graduate school, I didn't sign very much. I didn't
have to sign since no one else could. But at some point that changed,
and it was one of the best things that ever happened to
(read entire speech)
Dr. Jordan lost his hearing in a near-fatal motorcycle accident when
he was twenty-one. He speaks clearly and uses signed English instead
of American Sign Language.
During his tenure as president, Dr. Jordan received a total of eleven
honorary degrees and much international recognition for his work with
Gallaudet University. On campus, he is widely applauded for his
successful efforts to increase funding, including funds for the
expansion and construction of two new large-scale centers for
education research and support.
On Thursday, September 1, 2005, Dr. Jordan announced his intentions to
retire from the Presidency effective December 31, 2006.
Dr. Jordan is married to Linda and they currently reside in the
President's House (also known as House One, on the Gallaudet campus.
They also have a home in Annapolis, Maryland, in the United States.
Together, they have two grown children, I. King III and Heidi."
(Updated March 27, 2006)
Recognizing Dr. I. King Jordan for his Contributions to Gallaudet
University and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community
February 08, 2006
ADVISORY: Gallaudet lauches Dr. I. King Jordan Lecture Series
ANNOUNCING THE INAUGURAL LECTURE OF THE DR. I. KING JORDAN LECTURE SERIES:
"NOTE: Gallaudet University established the Dr. I. King Jordan Lecture
Series to honor President Jordan?s many years of distinguished service
at the University. One of the hallmarks of Dr. Jordan?s presidency
has been his commitment to academic excellence. In recognition of his
leadership in achieving excellence, speakers who have made outstanding
contributions in their fields are being invited to address the
Gallaudet community throughout this year. Local, national, and
international scholars and leaders?including those from
Gallaudet--will be part of this series."
various combinations of the following keywords were used for my research:
Dr. I. King Jordan biography profile deaf Gallaudet University