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The Johnson Scholarship Foundation has been a strong supporter of Gallaudet University for more than 25 years. The relationship began as a result of the student-led Deaf President Now movement, where I. King Jordan became the University’s first deaf president. Inspired by the events, the late Theodore R. Johnson, the founding donor of the foundation, established scholarships for Gallaudet students.

Since then, the Johnson Scholarship Foundation has donated more than $10 million to Gallaudet for student scholarships and internship stipends. Including our students, the foundation has supported more than 4,000 deaf and hard of hearing students. The purpose of the foundation is to support those with disabilities and who are economically disadvantaged. Mr. Johnson strongly believed that education was the best means for achieving independence and participation in society.

25+

Years of Partnership

$11.5

Million Awarded in Scholarships and Internship Stipends

100%

Awards to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

4000

Students Empowered

35%

Higher Graduation Rate

Gallaudet is grateful for the Foundation’s continuous support. Over the past 25 years, many Gallaudet alumni who have been scholarship recipients have gone on to pursue careers successfully in their field, thanks to an education at Gallaudet made possible by the foundation’s generosity. Careers include:

  • Accountant
  • Case Manager
  • Coach
  • Entrepreneur
  • Higher Education Faculty and Staff
  • Graphic Designer
  • Policy Analyst
  • Social Worker
  • Teacher
  • Video Producer

Learn more about the Johnson Scholarship Foundation and their efforts.

Johnson Scholar Stories

Parker Holt
Undergraduate student, junior
Government Major

Aaliyah Cheatham
First year graduate student
Deaf Education Major

Malik Amann
Undergraduate student, senior
Government and International Studies Major

Johnson Scholarship Alumni: Where Are They Now

Benro T. Ogunyipe, ’02, is an Accessibility Specialist for the Illinois Department of Human Services. Benro also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association for the Deaf. He was the President, Vice President, and Chairman of the Board of the National Black Deaf Advocates.  Benro was a Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission. Benro was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Council on Disability.

Louise E. Stern, ’00, is an accomplished artist and writer living in London. Louise has shown her art internationally in galleries across Europe. She has published two fiction books. Her first collection of short stories, Chattering, published by Granta in 2011, was in the running for the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s inaugural Readers’ First Book Award in 2010. In 2015, she published her first novel, Ismael and his Sisters, which was written and set in a deaf village in the Yucatan Peninsula. She has written plays, and stories for BBC Radio 4. She founded her own contemporary art magazine for children. Louise has been interviewed by several news outlets, including The Telegraph and The Guardian, about her work.

Nyle DiMarco, ’11, is a model and actor. He was the second male winner and the first deaf winner on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 22 and won Season 22 of Dancing with the Stars. He has had roles in movies and shows including In the Can, Switched at Birth, and Difficult People. He started The Nyle DiMarco Foundation which is a non-profit organization with the purpose of providing more access to resources for deaf children and their families.

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