Restored Gallaudet Monument Unveiled at American School for the Deaf in West Hartford

Conservator Francis Miller with Deaf Artist Steven Peterson. Courtesy photo

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz was among those who attending the unveiling of a newly-restored Gallaudet Monument on the grounds of the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford on Thursday.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewitz recognizes and celebrates the alumni in the audience who made the renovation of the Gallaudet Monument possible. Courtesy photo


The American School for the Deaf (ASD) holds a special place in our country’s history as the first permanent school for the Deaf in America and the birthplace of American Sign Language.

In honor of the school’s co-founder – and the Father of Deaf Education – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, ASD is proud to announce the unveiling of the Gallaudet Monument on Thursday, April 7, 2022 in West Hartford. Attending the event were Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, state Rep. Kate Farrar, and West Hartford Town Councilor Adrienne Billings-Smith, along with ASD alumni and members of the school’s Board of Directors.

West Hartford Town Councilor Adrienne Billings-Smith stands with Executive Director Jeffrey S. Bravin in front the unveiled monument signing “I Love you.” Courtesy photo

The Gallaudet Monument is a powerful tribute to the Founder of Deaf Education, and a source of pride both within Connecticut and across the country. First erected in 1854 on ASD’s Hartford campus, the Gallaudet Monument was deemed “one of the most beautiful monuments of its kind in the United States.” Funds and artists for the project came from within the Deaf Community, and the monument embodied their pride and accomplishment.

When ASD moved to its current West Harford campus in 1919, the monument was dismantled. The pieces remained in storage until 2019 when the ASD Alumni Association voted to restore it following a significant donation from an alumna. The Deaf Community, once again, made this project possible.

The West Hartford Town Council approved plans for the restoration in February 2020.

Bysiewicz and ASD’s Executive Director, Jeffrey S. Bravin, as well as members of the Board of Directors and the restoration conservator Francis Miller made remarks. Also present was Deaf artist Steven Petersen, who created the mold of the alphabet relief sculpture spelling Gallaudet’s name. He traveled from Minnesota to be part of the celebration and view the finished monument which he was seeing for the first time. The dedication was held outdoors by the monument, which is located at the entrance of the school.

Deaf Artist Steven Peterson becomes emotional seeing his sculpture in its finished form for the first time. Courtesy photo

Founded in 1817 as the nation’s first special education school, the American School for the Deaf is a comprehensive learning community that welcomes all deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing children with unique communication needs.  ASD develops the whole child – intellectually, emotionally, physically, and socially.  ASD is a leader in providing innovative programs and services for deaf and hard of hearing students, empowering them to become educated and self-directed lifelong learners.

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