The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf Alumni Association
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In 1913 Mrs. C. C. Brinton, a member of the Ladies’ Committee of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Institute for the Deaf and Dumb (PID&D), ﬁrst suggested the formation of the Alumni Association. The next year, on June 19, 1914 Mr. William L. Davis and a group of alumni met in the Marble Hall of Wissinoming Hall and organized the Alumni Association.
During its ﬁrst year, 1914-15, was conﬁned to lots of preparatory and organizational work. Then on September 4-6, 1915 the Alumni of P.I.D.&D had their 1st reunion. Over 350 people attended. Mr. William L. Davis was the ﬁrst President. Events of our ﬁrst reunion included a business meeting, then a game of baseball between married men and single men, a reception and dance, an undenominational service, and a series of sport events.
The Alumni Association continued to hold reunions and also to aid the school for the next 20 years, but then it slowly went out of existence.
After the World War II a group of alumni decided to meet at the Horn and Hardart Restaurant located at Broad and Erie to discuss the possibility of reviving the Alumni Association. A meeting to discuss this further was held at Gilpin Hall on March 17, 1946 with many people attending. It was decided to hold an Alumni Day on May 4th on the grounds of the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. An afternoon program of campus activities and a dance in the evening were enjoyed by all.
The Alumni Association continued for another 20 years or so, but it was not until early in the 1970’s when the alumni became so deeply involved with the school. The school’s 150th anniversary and the controversial total communication program (initiated in 1971) were the main factors in bringing the alumni much closer to their beloved school than ever before.
NOTE: The history of PSD Alumni Association is divided into four parts. Each part will be shown quarterly; the second part will be posted sometime next June. Info researched, data compiled, and highlights written by Dr. Jay Basch, Liasion Ofﬁcer, P.S.D. Heritage Center