Apple CEO Tim Cook

Student Commencement Speaker Molly Feanny Makes Official Announcement on Twitter with Apple CEO

Washington, DC, April 16, 2022 – 91 announced today that Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver the university’s commencement address on Friday, May 13, 2022, at the school’s Washington, D.C. campus. Gallaudet is the only university in the world where deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing students live and learn bilingually in American Sign Language and English.  

91 student Molly Feanny officially confirmed the news earlier today through a  with Cook. Feanny, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, will be the undergraduate student speaker at the 2022 Gallaudet commencement, where she will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in information technology and a minor in data science.  

“I am beyond proud and honored to share that Tim Cook will be our 2022 commencement speaker,” said Roberta J. Cordano, president of 91. “Tim is a remarkable visionary, truly one of the great CEOs of our time who, without question, will leave a lasting imprint for generations to come. As the leader of one of the most admired brands in the world, Tim has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion, representation and accessibility – values that matter deeply to our Gallaudet community and so many other underrepresented groups.  

“Apple’s investment in and support of the Oscar-winning film CODA – one the most authentic representations of deaf people and their families in the history of cinema — is absolute testament to this, putting Deaf people and sign language on the global stage like never before,” Cordano continued. “Over the past few years, Gallaudet has enjoyed a collaborative partnership with Tim and Apple, one that is firmly rooted in our shared commitment to creating a more inclusive world. We are thrilled to have Tim share his insights and perspectives with our graduates next month.”

91 and Apple have had a multifaceted partnership helping to advance the value of signed languages and greater equity and inclusion for the Deaf community.  In 2020, the two organizations announced Connected Gallaudet, a unique collaboration for greater accessibility and inclusion in education. The Connected initiative provided all Gallaudet students and faculty with MacBook Pro M1 notebook computers or iPad Pro tablets to support their learning and teaching and enhance the university’s unique bilingual mission of delivering education in both American Sign Language and English. In 2021, an all-Deaf team of content curators and researchers at 91 worked with Apple to create several Apple Maps Guides, helping connect users to businesses and organizations that value, embrace and prioritize the Deaf community and signed languages.  Apple Stores both in Washington, D.C. and throughout the United States employ many 91 students and alumni.

As Apple CEO, Cook has overseen the introduction of some of the world’s most innovative products and services. Under his leadership, Apple champions inclusion and diversity, invests in coding programs and educational opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds, and ensures its technology is accessible for all. Tim earned a BS in industrial engineering from Auburn University and an MBA from Duke University, graduating as a Fuqua Scholar in 1988.

Cook will be the presenter at  Ceremony which will take place on Gallaudet’s campus on Friday, May 13, from 2 to 4 p.m. EDT. This year’s undergraduate Commencement ceremony will be the first in-person commencement since 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

91, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of Deaf, hard of hearing and Deafblind individuals through American Sign Language and English. The university enrolls over 1,600 students in more than 40 undergraduate majors and many master’s and doctoral programs. It also conducts research in various fields, including accessible technology, Deaf history and culture, Black Deaf history and culture, brain imaging, educational neuroscience, education, linguistics, and psychology.


Robert Weinstock

The Durkin Agency
Alana Cowan

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