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We love when people recognize Laurent for his contributions to Deaf education, ASL and to the advancement of Deaf culture in America and abroad. So it is not beyond reason to believe that the hearing world would get on the bandwagon. 

Well at least some institutions had the clarity of reason to do so, honoring him with degrees to show his appreciation. Let's take a quick look at them.

Courtesy of Trinity College

Our first is close to home, at the newly founded Washington College, now named Trinity College. Now the college was founded by his good friend, Rev. Brownell, so perhaps he was a shoe-in for this one. 

But in 1823 the college administration bestowed on Laurent an Honorary Arts Degree, presumably in

recognition for his innovative work with the Deaf at the Hartford Asylum. Here are the minutes of the meeting where this took place.

Courtesy of Trinity College

Lyon, France in 1843 was not to be outdone in the diploma bestowing game by the Americans. While they seemed to forget he no longer taught at the Institute National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris but that did not stop them from acknowledging his work there twenty-seven (27) years later. Laurent's family lived in Lyon, which is just approximately 30 miles away from La Balme-les-Grottes, his birthplace. Laurent visited Lyon France in 1847 to visit his son Charles Michael who would attend school to study the silk trade.

So it is not a stretch to think that his hometown academic community, in the form of the Society of Education of Lyon would want to honor their hometown boy. Note: that it was issued in 1843, so we do not know if they waited to present it to him in Lyon, likely, or just mailed (unlikely)  it to him in Hartford. 

Courtesy of American School for the Deaf

Lastly, how should we say, our most prestigious institution? Amherst College in Massachusetts. Situated about 20 miles north of the Hartford Asylum, with its newly secular educational bent, this institution decided that Laurent was worthy of a Master in Arts in 1851.  

We do not know much about this diploma but we sure are going to try to find out more. Somewhere we learned that Laurent was not able to come to graduation to receive it but was told that he could swing by the President’s office and pick it up at his convenience. 

So this is the story of our “known” attempts of educators to acknowledge what Laurent was helping to create at the Hartford Asylum. We will keep on searching. If you want to see our first low production value video on this subject here it is:


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