Today is Monday, April 6. It is a beautiful day here at Gallaudet University. We’re missing people and signing vibrancy on campus.

This past Saturday, I had a nice brief conversation with some of our students through Zoom. I was touched as one student shared her heartfelt story of needing and craving ASL, which is one of the main reasons why she joined the Zoom chat.

Over the weekend, I ran into a few essential Gallaudet employees while out walking on campus. They were in their car and were driving beside me. It’s fascinating to observe that despite being physically apart from each other, we were still connected socially. Connected through the commonality and use of American Sign Language.

Those conversations truly are meaningful to me. I want to say two things, I appreciate all the essential employees who come to the campus day in and day out. Also, I appreciate those who returned to campus to retrieve their equipment and their belongings to be able to efficiently work remotely. It is important to note and recognize our collective need for a connection and attachment to the university and to each other —just as that student paid attention to her need for ASL vibrancy.

As president here on the Gallaudet University campus, I see the loss of ASL vibrancy firsthand. I want to encourage you all to commit to each other this week. Make an effort to connect socially with one another and see the beauty of our language, our people, and our community with each other. Let’s stay socially connected while keeping our distance physically.

Thank you.


Roberta J. Cordano