The minutes of the Board of Directors, dated May 24, 1864, state that “Mr. Edward Miner Gallaudet submitted a design for a corporate seal, as follows, Viz:
An open Bible hearing the word Ephphatha (be opened) in Syriac characters….around the Bible the same word in the characters of the deaf-mute alphabet;
rim of the seal containing the words Academia Columbiana.
Dr. Sutherland suggested that 13 stars be inserted in the rim, filling up the space between the words “Academia” and “Columbiana”, and the shield of the United States placed within the rim at the foot of the Bible.
At the Board of Directors meeting on June 7, 1864, the members after a heated discussion decided not to use Latin on the seal and voted “That the words “Columbia Institution” be inscribed upon the seal, with other insignia adopted at the last meeting of the Board.
The original seal was used for 90 years. On June 18, 1954, and Act of Congress, signed by President Eisenhower, changed the name of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf to Gallaudet College. A new seal bearing the imprint “Gallaudet College” became the corporate seal.
The first seal was adopted by the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution by Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, April 8, 1964. Edward Miner Gallaudet and the Rev. Sunderland, a board member of the Columbia Institution for the Deaf, were mainly responsible for the design of the seal.