Let’s Go In

My Journey to a University Presidency

By T. Alan Hurwitz
Foreword by Albert J. Simone

Categories: Jewish Studies
Imprint: Gallaudet University Press
Paperback : 9781944838621, 222 pages, November 2020
Ebook : 9781944838638, 222 pages, November 2020
Request a Desk or Exam Copy Request a Media Review Copy

Alan Hurwitz's biography offers insights into his success as an administrator and community leader.


Q&A with the Author



Alan Hurwitz ascended the ranks of academia to become the president of not one, but two, universities—National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology and Gallaudet University. In Let’s Go In: My Journey to a University Presidency, Hurwitz discusses the unique challenges he encountered as a Deaf person, and the events, people, and experiences that shaped his personal and professional life. He demonstrates the importance of building a strong foundation for progressive leadership roles in higher education, and provides insights into the decision-making and outreach required of a university president, covering topics such as community collaboration, budget management, and networking with public policy leaders. He also stresses that assessing students’ needs should be a top priority. As he reflects on a life committed to service in higher education, Hurwitz offers up important lessons on the issues, challenges, and opportunities faced by deaf and hard of hearing people, and in doing so, inspires future generations of deaf people to aim for their highest goals.

Additional images, videos, and supplemental readings are available at the Gallaudet University Press/Manifold online platform.


T. Alan Hurwitz is President Emeritus of Gallaudet University, and President and Dean Emeritus of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Hurwitz also served as vice president and dean of RIT. An electrical engineer by training, Hurwitz’s career at RIT/NTID began in 1970 when he was hired as an educational specialist in RIT’s College of Engineering. During the course of his career, he has served in leadership positions in a variety of professional and deaf advocacy organizations. Among the many awards he has received, he holds an honorary doctorate from California State University at Fresno and he was honored as the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s CEO of the Year.



“Educator, leader, role model—Alan Hurwitz has been both a witness to and participant in historic changes in education, technology, and law that have revolutionized life for Deaf people. Hurwitz reveals how he rose above many challenges to achieve not just personal victories, but victories for the Deaf community.”

— Paul Ogden, Professor Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, founder of The Silent Garden, and author of "My Life of Language"

"In this well-detailed journal of his movements through a career marked by success at every stop and capped with his appointment as president of Gallaudet University, Alan Hurwitz gives the reader a glimpse of the ups and downs in his long and productive life. His impressive career mirrors the progress that deaf people are still making to improve the quality of their lives. He was also a devoted husband, father, and public service leader who gave time to anyone who asked. The story of his life, achievements, and contributions will fascinate many and inspire greater effort to succeed."

— Robert R. Davila, President Emeritus, Gallaudet University

"Alan Hurwitz’s reflections describe the journey of a deaf man in a hearing world and the people and experiences that influenced his remarkable successes in school, industry, and as a distinguished leader in higher education. Let's Go In is much more than a retrospection on lessons learned. It is a testimony to his perseverance, patience, balance, resiliency, and devotion to removing barriers by improving access and opportunities for deaf individuals in America and around the world. This is not about the ‘good old days’ but rather how one dedicated individual made a difference by  working tirelessly to ensure that deaf people experience ‘good new days’ through education, training, and technology."

— Christine M. Licata, Vice Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology

"One need only look around to find Alan Hurwitz’s fingerprints everywhere...congressional testimony, scholarly journals, the National Association of the Deaf, the World Federation of the Deaf, the World Federation of the Jewish Deaf, Gallaudet, and NTID...to name but a few. Alan has given selflessly of himself throughout his entire career. While some seek glory, Alan seeks to do good."

— James J. DeCaro, Professor and Dean Emeritus, National Technical Institute for the Deaf

"Alan Hurwitz has been described as an outstanding role model who proves the value of a full education, hard work, and developing leadership skills. His has been a life of service to his deaf students and to the deaf community. How did that happen? This memoir takes the reader on a journey through his life, a life full of challenges and joy, of perseverance and grit in the face of adversity, and of desire to give back to society in gratitude for what life gave him. Read this book to learn what made him who he is today!"

— Irene W. Leigh, Professor Emerita, Department of Psychology, Gallaudet University

"An inspirational read, particularly for both deaf and hearing young people who aspire to create positive change in education and society. The story of Alan’s life and work is a story of self-advocacy in an era largely unfamiliar with the notion of transformative Deaf leadership." 

— Harry Lang, Professor Emeritus, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and author of "Fighting in the Shadows: Untold Stories of Deaf People in the Civil War"

"(Hurwitz's) struggles, lessons, and persistence serve as a role model to young deaf students in overcoming obstacles and assuming leadership roles...The book also may be of interest to those involved in the Deaf community or knowledgeable about the history and development of services to deaf people over the past 70 years."

— Pamela Luft, Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability