Andrew Jackson Foster was the first Black Deaf student to graduate from Gallaudet University after the Jim Crow era. Although he was allowed to enroll, the campus atmosphere was no less racist than the world outside it, and Foster’s experiences with bullying spurred him to graduate in only three years. Undeterred, he pursued his life’s mission, opening schools for Deaf children in countries throughout Africa. Gallaudet University is proud of Foster’s legacy. Still, we must honor the hardships he faced on campus to truly understand and appreciate his great success.
The Andrew J. Foster: Missionary, Educator, and Advocate exhibition was unveiled on April 8, 2014, along with Gallaudet at 150 and Beyond and Then and Now exhibitions as part of Gallaudet University’s sesquicentennial celebration.
Curators: Isaac Agboola, Meredith Peruzzi. Special Thanks: Pam Baldwin, Carolyn McCaskill, Jane Norman.