Dr. Jerry Carlton Lee, an adminstrator at Gallaudet College for the last 14 years, was formally installed as that school's sixth president in a ceremony held there yesterday.
Lee, 42, came to Gallaudet in 1971 to take the job of director of general services. He also started Gallaudet's first personnel office, a college spokesman said. Most recently, Lee served as the college's vice president for administration and business.
He was selected to become president last May, and was said to have been chosen because of his managerial and administrative abilities.
"He is the right man at the right time" for Gallaudet, said Jane Bassett Spilman, chairman of Gallaudet's board of trustees.
Lee said that "it is my dream that Gallaudet College will move into its rightful place as a multi-purpose university."
Congress created Gallaudet in 1864. Lee said one of the first things he must do is persuade Congress that Gallaudet should become a university.
The school is the nation's only liberal arts college for the deaf and stability has been its administrative hallmark. Except for one holder of that office, the shortest tenure of a Gallaudet president was 14 years. Lee referred to that history in his speech.
"I recognize the tradition of progress to which I am heir and which I must perpetuate -- a tradition that blends the richness of yesterday and the reality of today with the promise of tomorrow," he told an audience of about 3,000.
The keynote address was delivered by New York University President and former Indiana congressman John Brademas, who said, "What separates Gallaudet students from others is not their handicap but their excelling desire to achieve and serve."