Matthew Scott Moore

Alice Cogswell Award, 1994

Moore received the 1994 Alice Cogswell Award from the Gallaudet University Alumni Association, in recognition of his outstanding work on behalf of the Deaf Community. This striking award features a bronze sculpture of a fingerspelled “A,” the first letter of Alice Cogswell’s name and the first letter of the alphabet, symbolic of the beginning of a deaf person’s education.

Alice Cogswell (1805-1830) was the first student enrolled at what is now the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, which opened in 1817. She played an important, if indirect, role in the establishment of deaf education in the United States. Her first teacher, Thomas H. Gallaudet, helped found ASD with Laurent Clerc, the first deaf teacher of the deaf in the States. Gallaudet’s trip to England and France, where he met Clerc, was partly sponsored by Alice’s father, Dr. Mason Fitch Cogswell, who also helped found the new school. Gallaudet’s youngest son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, helped establish what is now Gallaudet University, and served as its first president. The campus contains several memorials to the Cogswells, Gallaudets, and Clercs.

Gallaudet University’s annual honors banquet is held in early April (“Charter Day”), commemorating the signing of the school’s first charter by President Lincoln on April 8, 1864.

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