RSD Founder’s Awards Honor Two Accomplished Women 10/19/16
Charlotte Landhuis and Vicki Hurwitz Receive Much-Deserved Recognition

At the Adventures in Education Underwriters Reception, held this year on  Wednesday, October 19th, at the historic Lyric Theater on East Avenue in downtown Rochester, Rochester School for the Deaf honored two outstanding women with its annual Perkins and Lyon Founder’s Awards.

This year’s recipient of the RSD Perkins Founder’s Award is Charlotte Landhuis.

The Perkins Founder’s Award recognizes an individual who has provided outstanding service to RSD as a benefactor, volunteer, Board member, or community leader. The award is given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Gilman H. Perkins, whose loving concern for their deaf daughter Carolyn, led to the formal establishment of RSD in 1876.

Charlotte, or Char, for short, has been a fixture at RSD since the 1960s. Her love for Rochester’s Deaf community began when she became friends with two deaf neighbors who lived across the street. Later, as a member of the Junior League of Rochester, Char approached RSD’s Superintendent Hoag and asked if she could do her Junior League volunteer service at RSD. She spent many years volunteering in RSD’s preschool, then was a substitute teacher when it was learned she had a teaching certificate. She later was asked to join the Board and served as Vice President, but moved to Missouri due to her husband Leo’s work the year she was to have become Board President. Moving away however didn’t diminish her love for RSD. In fact, during all 13 years while in Missouri, Char and Leo either drove or flew to Rochester in order to participate in the annual Adventures in Education event. One year they even served as Honorary Chairs of the program. When they moved back to Rochester, Char continued her RSD service as a member of the Advisory Council and Adventures in Education Planning Committee, on which she serves to this day. Throughout all of her years of service, Char has been a generous benefactor of RSD’s children, never missing an opportunity to make a difference by lending financial support wherever its needed the most.

Char’s legacy at RSD is one of helping to build bright futures for students for nearly 50 years. It is for this reason that the Board of Directors is so pleased to present the Rochester School for the Deaf 2016 Perkins Founder’s Award to the school’s longtime volunteer; teacher; board, council and committee member; benefactor; and ever-cheerful friend, Charlotte Landhuis.

This year’s recipient of the Lyon Founder’s Award is Vicki Hurwitz.

The Lyon Founder’s Award honors individuals for their professional contributions to the education of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. The award is given in honor of Mr. Edmund Lyon, a friend of the Perkins family, who played a key role in establishing RSD as a premier center for education of Deaf and hard of hearing children and their families.

Vicki Hurwitz’s commitment to Deaf Education spans many decades, including being the Director of Outreach Services at RSD. In Washington, DC, she was known as the First Lady of Gallaudet University, not just because her husband Alan was the President, but also because of her many contributions to Deaf Education on and off campus. She served as the honorary chair of the Friends of the Gallaudet Museum. As a leading scholar in the field of Deaf Women's Studies, she was also a member of the advisory board for the Museum's Deaf HERstory exhibit. While in Rochester, Vicki served as the Student Development Coordinator with the Student Life Team at Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. There she developed and taught a Deaf Women's Studies course for NTID students, the first of-a-kind in the nation. She co-founded the Deaf Women of Rochester, the first local Deaf women's organization, and was vice-president of Deaf Women United; and co-founded Advocacy Services for Abused Deaf Victims and served as its Executive Director, and then President. Now that her husband Alan has retired and the two of them have moved back to Rochester, most in Rochester’s Deaf community are convinced that Vicki will continue to be “a force to be reckoned with” in Deaf Education in one way or another. For her tireless work to lead and inspire students and the Deaf community for several decades, the Board of Directors is pleased to present the 2016 Lyon Founder’s Award to Vicki Hurwitz.



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