NorCal GUAA Presents… Gallaudet: The Golden Gate!

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Let’s give Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz and First Lady Vicki Hurwitz
a warm BAY AREA welcome!

Appetizers * Drinks * Dinner * Silent/Live Auction * Entertainment * Presentations * Socializing * and much, much more!

Tickets are $55 per person/$100 per couple.

Rates go up on 12/1/10 and seats are limited…buy your tickets ASAP!

Check payments may be made to NorCal GUAA – and mailed to Gene Duve, P.O Box 393, Sunol, CA 94586.

Parking is $12 – and within walking distance to Krutch Theatre. Carpooling is encouraged.

Any inquiries, please email

Hope to see you there!



Payment for Gallaudet: The Golden Gate

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PayPal Capability Coming Soon! Check back at the end of next week. ūüėÄ

Save The Date!

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Save the date!

Gallaudet: The Golden Gate! Meet Dr and Ms Hurwitz!

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NorCal GUAA Presents:
Gallaudet: The Golden Gate

Spend an evening with our Guests of Honor: Gallaudet President Dr. T. Alan
Hurwitz & Gallaudet First Lady Vicki Hurwitz

Saturday 11 December 2010
5 pm to 11 pm

$55 per person ($60 after Dec 1st)
$100 per couple
VIP Table (seating with Dr. Hurwitz, limited to 8 people): $75 per person
To reserve a table: $25 per table

Evening Program includes:
* Silent Auction
* Presentations
* Entertainment

Krutch Theatre (formerly known as Estrella Auditorium) @ old CSD (UC Berkeley - Clark Kerr Campus)
2601 Warring Street
Berkeley, CA 94702

Letter #2 to the Board of Trustees

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Success! We received a response to our Open Letter. Ben Soukup responded, and we replied back. His response is first, and our response is immediately following his response. We wrote our response as a team, using the same approach as the first letter. At this point, we are still waiting to hear back from the Board of Trustees.

On Mon, Feb 16, 2009 at 3:22 PM, Ben Soukup wrote:

Dear NorCal Gallaudet Alumni Chapter and Stakeholders of the Bay Area,
Thank you for your letter dated 31 January 2009. We want to acknowledge the receipt of your letter and to inform you that the Board has thoroughly discussed this issue during the recent Gallaudet University Board of Trustees meeting held last week in Washington, DC. We have agreed to another meeting with the local NorCal GUAA chapter and I and/or another Board member willcoordinate this visit through the national GUAA office at Gallaudet. Again, thank you for contacting us. 
Ben Soukup, Chairman
Gallaudet BOT

25 February 2009  

Dear Mr. Soukup,  

Your timely response to our letter dated January 31, 2009 was received with much appreciation.  The NorCal GUAA chapter looks forward to the opportunity for further dialogue upon your visit to the Bay Area.  The available dates we have for your upcoming visit are: Tuesday, March 17th, the date of our next NorCal GUAA meeting; Saturday, March 28th, the date of Deaf Community Night; or Friday, March 20th.  It is our hope that you will find a suitable option among one of those dates.  If none of these dates work for you, please let us know of several alternatives.  We would like to also extend an invitation for other members of the Board of Trustees to join you for this meeting.  

As you are aware, our initial concerns of which were outlined in our previous letter were largely founded upon what we perceive to be inappropriate representation of Gallaudet by members of its Board of Trustees, as well as lack of commitment to the ideals of true transparency and inclusiveness of the Presidential Search process.  While these continue to be a priority for us, our concerns have since expanded to encompass the larger picture; questions such as: What is Gallaudet?  In what direction is Gallaudet headed?  What defines Gallaudet?  What does the future hold?  We would like to ask for clarification on the true value and extent of the larger Deaf community and stakeholders’ voice and involvement in working towards a better, stronger Gallaudet.

Gallaudet, our beloved University, has long been not only a highly regarded educational institution, but is also representative to many of us as what it means to be Deaf.  She is a mecca for those who have long been in the community; she, too, welcomes with open arms the newcomers that tentatively enter its halls, thereby embarking upon a unique process of self-discovery which is incapable of being experienced anywhere else in the world, ultimately transforming them into confident individuals with a strong sense of self-identity.  

We are teeming at the brink of a pivotal time in our beloved University’s history; the direction that Gallaudet chooses to take will make an impact in a multitude of ways. The position that Gallaudet University takes will have a profound ripple effect on all levels: political, educational, professional and personal.  It will shape the future of the many thousands of Deaf children throughout our nation and affect the millions of Deaf individuals world-wide.   

Once again, we thank you for accepting our invitation to meet with us.¬† Let us take inspiration in the words of our President Obama in his recent address to Congress: “We will rebuild. We will recover, and (we) will emerge stronger than before. What is required now is‚Ķ to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.” ¬† Long Live Gallaudet!

Sincerely,   Gallaudet Alumni and Stakeholders of the Bay Area

Open Letter to the Gallaudet Board of Trustees


To the Board of Trustees of Gallaudet University: Please find attached our open letter to the Board of Trustees. What follows is a little bit of background information so that you can better understand why the letter was written and under what circumstances it was written. The NorCal GUAA chapter eagerly hosted a meet-and-greet event in Fremont with two Trustees, Tom Humphries and Jim MacFadden, on January 24th. As you are no doubt aware, the Bay Area was very involved in both the 1988 and 2006 Presidential search processes because of our deep and abiding love for Gallaudet University. We were very excited about what promised to be a more transparent and open search process and came to the event ready to roll up our sleeves and work with the Trustees. What greeted us, however, was not what we expected at all, much to our disappointment.

We chapter officers, after receiving a lot of input from the community requesting a meeting, called a follow-up meeting on Wednesday, January 28th. Over 50 people attended the meeting, and a photo of most of the attendees is enclosed in the letter itself. Local alumni members, when they shared their thoughts and feelings, showed so much concern, love, and caring for Gallaudet, it was awe-inspiring. During the meeting, people were divided into groups. They discussed the situation, wrote notes together, then shared their thoughts with everyone present. While sharing, it became clear that local alumni were quite dismayed by what occurred on the 24th and strongly believed that action must be taken.

The NorCal GUAA members asked that a team write this letter to the Board of Trustees in both English and American Sign Language. You, and everyone copied on this e-mail, will receive a paper copy of the attached letter as well as a disc containing a signed version, which will be sent as soon as the ASL version is ready. But we felt this issue was too pressing to wait, which is why the letter-writing team and the chapter officers asked that this e-mail be sent immediately.

We, the NorCal alumni of the Bay Area, are very concerned, not only about how the Presidential search is being handled, but about the Board of Trustees in general and Gallaudet as a whole. We also are uncomfortable with the direction that Gallaudet is headed from what we learned on the 24th. At this point, we are assuming that the conduct and statements of your two representatives, Tom Humphries and Jim MacFadden, reflect your Board as a whole. This is a logical assumption, based on the fact that Mr. MacFadden is chairing the search process and that Mr. Humphries was asked to represent Mr. Soukup, who could not be present.

We are very much hoping that this is a mistaken assumption and eagerly welcome the opportunity to initiate dialogue and to work with you, the Board, through the search process and beyond. Please read the enclosed letter and remember that this is coming from a place of strong loyalty to Gallaudet and a great desire to work with you for Gallaudet’s sake, both now and for the future.


The NorCal GUAA chapter officers and alumni


Middle States Commmission on Higher Education

Robert Davila, President

Deborah DeStefano, Assistant to the President/Board Liaison

Stephen Weiner, Provost

Samuel Sonnenstrahl, Director of Alumni Relations & Executive Director, GUAA

Alyce Reynolds, GUAA Board President

UPDATE: As of 1 pm EST, we had received confirmation that the Board of Trustees has received this letter. We have not had an official response from them at this juncture.

NorCal GUAA Letter to the Board of Trustees January 2009

NorCal GUAA Letter to the Board of Trustees January 2009

31 January 2009

To the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees:

We would like to begin this letter by commending you for sending representatives across the United States to meet with various stakeholders regarding the search process associated with the selection of Gallaudet‚Äôs 12th president. Unfortunately, the Bay Area’s recent experience with the two Board members at the local GUAA gathering left us with grave concerns about whether or not the university is truly committed to an open, transparent, and inclusive search process. Because of our love for, and strong ties, to Gallaudet, as well as a sincere desire and hope for a successful search, we felt compelled to send you this letter in order to share our serious concerns.

We had initially believed that the days where the Board of Trustees at Gallaudet operates in a paternalistic manner were gone. Statements such as ‚ÄúDeaf people are not ready to function in the hearing world‚ÄĚ from the first protest and ‚ÄúTrust us, we know better‚ÄĚ from the second protest are not only clearly dismissive, but also disrespectful to the stakeholders of Gallaudet, and should no longer be tolerated. It is for this reason that, this time around, we eagerly anticipated an open, inclusive search process that closely involved us as stakeholders.

At the GUAA gathering on January 24th, we had a large turnout, which is a strong indication of the passionate support Gallaudet enjoys among the Bay Area alumni. To our profound shock and disappointment, the board members projected an attitude that reflected the mentality of the board during the last two search processes. Statements such as ‚Äúthere are no qualified deaf people to lead the search‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwe know what we are doing‚ÄĚ are offensive, demeaning, and inappropriate. These statements from our own people serving on the Board of Trustees, along with their condescending behavior, which included eye-rolling, head-shaking and a disdainful look on the face of one board member, left us with a strong sense of d√©j√† vu and a sinking feeling that two protests had not taught the Board the importance of working with its alumni and maintaining a close, positive working relationship with all stakeholders.

We, the Bay Area Deaf community, which prides itself on being very involved and active in matters pertaining to Deafkind, have already dealt with two botched Presidential searches and have no desire to do so again. We were truly looking forward to a new chapter in which we are respected by the Board of Trustees and our input is valued.

We strongly urge you, the board, to be deliberate in how you communicate to the public, how you solicit input, and how you treat your alumni. There are clearly many different ideas about how the search should be conducted. At this juncture, it is critical that the Board welcome all suggestions, thoughts, and feelings with respect and interest. This did not happen at the alumni gathering here last week.

For this reason, we feel it is imperative that you regroup and reexamine how you relate to the alumni during this delicate time in Gallaudet’s history. If certain board members are not willing or able to be receptive to the diverse thoughts and feelings of our alumni, they should not be representing the university at alumni functions, or indeed, at all.

We also respectfully request another meeting with different board members in the near future. We would very much welcome the opportunity to meet with board members who are genuine in projecting the new image of an open, transparent, and respectful Board of Trustees of Gallaudet.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. Long live Gallaudet!

Sincerely, Gallaudet Alumni and Stakeholders of the Bay Area

Gallaudet Club Friday, Feb 13th



Gallaudet Club

Gallaudet Club

Come one, come all alumni!


Socialize and learn more about Gallaudet!
Friday, February 13th at 7 pm
The Kloppings’ Residence
1411 Washo Drive
Fremont, CA 94539

Door prizes and appetizers will be provided!

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