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  • Influential Deaf Professor Immortalized on US Postage Stamp
    2 Dec , 2016


















    Educator and icon Robert Panara, the first deaf faculty member of Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID), is being honored by the US Postal Service with a stamp. The 16th stamp in the “Distinguished Americans” series features Panara, an influential professor and pioneer in the field of Deaf Studies and one of the founders of the National Theatre of the Deaf.


    According to RIT/NTID, the stamp was created from a photograph of Panara signing the word “respect” taken by RIT/NTID photographer Mark Benjamin and was designed by USPS art director Ethel Kessler.


    “I’m very proud to see my dad honored and Deaf culture recognized in this way, and I want to thank the personnel at the USPS Stamp Development Office for all their work in the design process,” said Panara’s son, John, himself a faculty member at RIT/NTID.


    During his teaching career, Panara inspired generations of students, and his powerful use of American Sign Language to convey Shakespeare and other works of literature made him much beloved and respected by students and colleagues alike.

    Panara, who passed away in July 2014 at the age of 94, was an avid poet, lover of Shakespeare and theater, and fan of baseball and the Rochester Red Wings.

    “Bob Panara’s contributions to the field of Deaf Studies, theater and education are indeed worthy of celebrating,” said Gerard Buckley, NTID president and RIT vice president and dean. “RIT/NTID and the entire Deaf community are justifiably proud that Bob is being honored in such a meaningful way.”


    The formal Date of Issue will take place at a ceremony in April 2017 in Rochester, NY, home to RIT/NTID where Panara taught for 20 years.


    Source: RIT/NTID News 

    Image credit: The United States Postal Service