Agatha Tiegel Hanson (1873-1959) is regarded as a seminal figure in Deaf history for her writing, advocacy, and leadership, though her accomplishments merit recognition within the larger context of American history. Barely fifteen in 1888, Tiegel Hanson became one of the first women to attend the nation’s only college for Deaf students, the National Deaf-Mute College, now known as Gallaudet University. Amid the hostility and skepticism of male students and faculty, she achieved exemplary academic success and was the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from the college. Upon facing stringent campus restrictions and exclusion from male-only organizations and activities, Tiegel Hanson cofounded a society for female students. Her prerequisite graduation presentation, “The Intellect of Woman,” was a powerful oratory that urged women to “move on till all barriers crumble and fall.”
Cover design by Eric C. Wilder. Photographs courtesy of the Gallaudet University Archives.
- publisherGallaudet University Press
- publisher placeWashington, DC