Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On this date... Jan 1, 2010

On this date in 2010, Alan Hurwitz became the 10th president of Gallaudet University. Here's some background on him:

Family: Deaf since birth, he was raised by Harold and Juliette Hurwitz, both of whom were deaf, in Sioux City, Iowa. His father worked as an upholsterer for 20 years at Sioux City Furniture Company and then for Metz Baking. Juliette was a quality assurance assembler for 25 years. His parents retired and moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Juliette died in 1991 and Harold passed away in 2000. Alan Hurwitz has been married to his wife, Vicki, for 44 years. They have two children. A son, who is hard of hearing and a daughter, who is deaf.

Education: An expert lip-reader, Hurwitz is a 1965 graduate from Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis where he spent a decade learning to talk as a child. He then attended North Junior High where he was the only deaf student. Hurwitz was without the aid of an interpreter or note taker but excelled at sports. Hurwitz went on to earn electrical engineering degrees from Washington University and St. Louis University. His doctorate is in curriculum and teaching from the University of Rochester.

Family Education: His wife, Vicki, graduated from Central Institute for the Deaf in 1954. His mother, Juliette Ruth Kahn, also graduated from Central Institute for the Deaf in 1934. His son is now a lawyer in Rochester, New York. His daughter works for a family service foundation.

Career: Five years as an engineer and programmer at McDonnell Douglas aerospace company in St. Louis. Current president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) where he has worked since 1970. Hurwitz sometimes living in dormitories for a few days to inspect conditions. His wife was a student development coordinator at NTID and directed RSD's outreach center.

Service: Hurwitz has served as president of both the National Association of the Deaf and the World Organization of Jewish Deaf. He served two decades on the board of Rochester School for the Deaf. His wife co-founded Deaf Women of Rochester.

Religion: The first Jewish leader for Gallaudet, Hurwitz grew up in an Orthodox environment. He and his wife has been to Israel four times and they are members of a Reform congregation.

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