Hidden Treasures

Dear Orange Friends:

There are a lot of hidden treasures at Syracuse University. Often they are the people who make the University work for all of us, and who quietly do a great job without often being noticed or thanked.

One of those treasures is American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. At so many campus events, ASL interpreters are right there, on stage or near it. They rapidly convert the words spoken into words that can be observed by our Deaf community members who communicate in ASL.

Before coming to Syracuse, I usually paid little attention to these interpreters (in the rare times one was provided), letting them fade into the background. At Syracuse, I have come to marvel at the interpreters at events where many people (including me) are speaking swiftly or softly or using long technical terms.

Audience members ask questions; people sometimes talk at the same time; emotions as well as ideas need to be interpreted and conveyed. Yet the interpreters patiently, expressively, and cheerfully keep up, although I imagine it must be exhausting.

Sometimes it seems to me like a miracle of a symphony is being produced by the interpreters. However, I recognize these interpreters are not here for our entertainment, they’re here to provide equal access to many of our fellow community members.

I thank all of the ASL interpreters for their significant contributions to the Syracuse University community.

Kent Syverud
Chancellor Kent Syverud