Gallaudet University is the world’s only specially designed university for deaf and hard of hearing students. Based in Washington, D.C., this prestigious liberal arts university provides high quality academic programs, co-curricular programs, and research. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The history of the university dates back to 1856, when Amos Kendall, a wealthy man and postmaster general, donated two acres of his estate with the aim of starting a school for twelve deaf and six blind students. As a result, the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind, opened its door in the following year. Later, in 1864, the institution was authorized to confer college degrees and in 1954, it was renamed Gallaudet College after Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. The Model Secondary School for the Deaf, and Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, a part of university’s Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, were established in 1969 and 1970. By 1986, the college received university status and became Gallaudet University. Today, it has grown to a prominent institution with a wide range of educational and job opportunities for the hearing impaired. Gallaudet University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Arts and Sciences. In the undergraduate program, students have an option to design their own majors, called self-directed majors. Masters, doctoral degrees, and certificates are included in graduate programs. In addition, the courses are open to unimpaired students, with limited seats at the undergraduate level. The Gallaudet Research Institute is known widely for its leadership in research related to the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. Also known as Kendall Garden, the campus is noted for its early 1800s architectural style. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Gallaudet University Library, housed in the Merrill Learning Center, is a valuable resource of information with a comprehensive collection of 239,500 volumes, 1,700 current periodical subscriptions, 2,150 videos, and 625,000 microforms. The Kellogg Conference Hotel on campus, is facilitated with about 100 newly renovated guestrooms, a beautiful atrium with vaulted ceilings, and a large ballroom.