A professor, dean, vice president of academic affairs and provost at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., from 1967-98, Schuchman was named a Distinguished Faculty Member in 1991 and a Schaffer Research Professor in 1998.
He graduated from Manual in 1956, earned his bachelor’s degree from Butler in 1961, master’s and PhD from Indiana University in 1963 and ’69, respectively, and his law degree from Georgetown in 1968.
He has served as a consultant of deaf studies and history for BJS Associates since 1999 and has written two books, “Deafness and the Film Entertainment Industry” and “Deaf People in Hitler’s Europe, and numerous magazine articles.
Schuchman was raised by his profoundly deaf parents, Harry and Florence Schuchman. “My parents had little to no understandable speech, and we communicated in sign language,” he said. “Although they had many deaf friends throughout Indianapolis, their communication for the outside world and our hearing relatives was via handwritten notes or me.
“Although my father always had employment with a family scrap metal business, we were what I would describe as working-class poor. From them I learned to be independent and that one needed to work and obtain an education.”
And that’s what he did.
In addition to younger stints as a newspaper boy for The Indianapolis Times and peddling shopping bags under the clock at L.S. Ayres Downtown, his first official job was that as a janitor for Effroysom’s Department Store on South Meridian Street.
It was Manual that opened the world for him. Upon graduating he attended General Motors Institute of Technology on a scholarship until transferring to Butler. “I cannot thank Manual enough for the generous support and gift it provided to a poor kid,” Schuchman said.
He and his wife, the former Betty Jane Engleman, reside in Ashburn, Va.
Schuchman will be honored by Manual’s 50-year Club May 6 at Primo Banquet Hall & Conference Center.