Apple CEO Tim Cook will deliver Gallaudet University’s commencement address at the Washington DC campus on May 13. Cook responded in the affirmative to a Twitter invitation by Molly Feanny, the undergraduate student speaker at the university’s 2022 commencement. Noting that Gallaudet is an Apple campus, she expressed gratitude for the company’s support of the movie CODA, following its historic wins at the recent Academy Awards.
Thanks so much Molly, I’d be honored! See you there! 🦬 https://t.co/eSmy1uyFu7
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 16, 2022
Gallaudet is the sole university where deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing students live and learn bilingually in American Sign Language and English.
CODA is an English-language remake of the 2014 French-Belgian film La Famille Bélier, starring Emilia Jones as the titular child of deaf adults (CODA) and only hearing member of a deaf family, who attempts to help her family’s struggling fishing business, while pursuing her own aspirations of being a singer. It won the Best Picture Oscar, becoming the first film distributed by a streaming service to do so, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Troy Kotsur and Adapted Screenplay.
“I am beyond proud and honored to share that Tim Cook will be our 2022 commencement speaker,” said Gallaudet University president Roberta J. Cordano. “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,” she said in a statement.
“Apple’s investment in and support of the Oscar-winning film CODA – one of 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.”
Apple and Gallaudet have had a multi-faceted partnership since 2020 to advance the value of signed languages and greater equity and inclusion for the Deaf community.