RIT/NTID celebrates 50 years of deaf education with Lyndon B. Johnson's granddaughter

Apr 5, 2019

Lucinda Robb stands next to a photo of her grandmother Lady Bird Johnson.
Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf celebrated 50 years of education Friday.

The event included a number of local leaders and legislators, as well as Lucinda Robb, the granddaughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. Johnson signed the bill that allowed for the creation of NTID.

"The most important thing and experience he had in life early on was he was a teacher. Teaching and education was so important to him, it meant everything," she said. "He loved to see it when things worked out well. He loved to see that government could make a difference. He believed it could, and this frankly succeeded beyond what most government programs ever do, so he would have been like. ‘Yes!’ "

This marks the first time that a relative of Johnson has visited the campus since Lady Bird Johnson visited in 1974 for the dedication of NTID’s main academic building, Lyndon Baines Johnson Hall.

NTID President Gerry Buckley was a freshman when Lady Bird Johnson came to campus.

He talked about the impact the school has had on the deaf community. 

Lucinda Robb, granddaughter of Lady Bird and Lyndon B Johnson, addresses the crowd at RIT/NTID re dedication event
Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

"We've impacted the lives of almost 9,000 deaf people now who are working throughout the world in careers they were previously excluded from opportunities, primarily in science, technology, engineering and math," Buckley said.

The National Institute for the Deaf was established in 1965, with classes beginning in 1969.