Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Year Ago.. A Gallaudet First

Gallaudet University created its first chair fully endowed by a deaf person one year ago. The Gerald “Bummy” Burstein ’50 Endowed Chair in Leadership will now begin appointing scholars to study and research leadership in the deaf community. The $1 million chair was set up nine years ago by Burstein who picked up the nickname because of his support for his hometown team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, also known as “Dem Bums.” The Dodgers eventually moved to California and so did Burstein. He was the first deaf person to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Gallaudet and is credited with introducing Americans to deaf applause as hands waving in the air. He first saw it in France. Bummy is also an expert parliamentarian with several books to his credit.