The Gallaudet community has the opportunity to name a new baby bison!

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is getting two new American bison, and we at Gallaudet have the opportunity to name one of them!

The National Zoo is continuing a tradition it began in 2014 with an earlier pair of American bison. The Zoo contacted both Gallaudet and Howard — the two schools in town whose mascot is the bison. We named our bison Wilma after Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, ’92, G-’05, & H- ’09, a member of the Parliament of South Africa who serves on our Board of Trustees. Howard named their bison Zora after the great African-American author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston.

Wilma and Zora have moved to other zoos, and the National Zoo has become home to two new American bison. The new bison that will be named by Gallaudet is currently nine months old and is eagerly awaiting her new name. We are asking for your suggestions of names important to the Gallaudet community! The other bison will be named by Howard University community members. 

Not only is the bison a significant symbol to all of us in the Gallaudet community; it is also significant to the National Zoo! The bison was the first animal on exhibit as a part of the Zoo’s living collection in 1891, and is a symbol of American strength, conservation education, and conservation success.

Share your name ideas!

Please submit your name suggestions by May 4.

Explain why you have picked the name, and why the name is important or how it relates to Gallaudet. A student committee will narrow down the names, and we will conduct an email vote on May 5. The bison’s name will be announced by May 11.

To opt in to vote, please submit your contact information here.

We look forward to seeing all of your ideas, and to naming our bison!

Name the New Bison