Molly Feanny, an undergraduate student speaker at Gallaudet University, uploaded a video on Saturday in which she invited Cook to speak at the university’s 152nd Commencement Ceremony on May 13.
Feanny signs in American Sign Language for the invitation, which lasts slightly over a minute and has subtitles and narration. It would be an honour for the institution, says Feanny, to have Cook speak since he’s “an extraordinary visionary and leader.”
Since COVID at Gallaudet, which is also an Apple Campus, the event will be the first in-person graduation ceremony. Co-produced by Apple TV+ and the university’s deaf community, “CODA” has received critical praise.
Cook responds to the invitation by tweeting about it “I’d be delighted to be of service! Have a great time!” CODA actress Marlee Matlin tweeted shortly thereafter “Tim, I can’t wait! You and the students of Gallaudet are in my thoughts and prayers.”
Gallaudet University president Roberta J. Cordano praised Cook in a formal news statement after the Twitter debate.
By virtue of his creative leadership and long-term impact, Tim “will be remembered for centuries to come,” according to Cordano. “Tim is a fantastic visionary, genuinely one of the great CEOs of our time,” Cordano continues. For Gallaudet and other marginalised groups, Tim has showed an unrelenting dedication to diversity, inclusiveness, representation, and accessibility – all principles that matter greatly to our Gallaudet community.”
A virtual commencement address will be delivered by Cook to Ohio State students in 2020.