VAD and VSDAA’s 140th Birthday Bash

VSDAA logo


Virginia Association of the Deaf (VAD) and Virginia School for the Deaf Alumni Association (VSDAA)
hosted Deaf History Month & Birthday Bash celebrating 140th anniversary of both VAD and VSDAA on
April 13. One of Veditz Brewery owners, VAD Vice-President, and VSDAA President greeted everyone before the VAD Awards Ceremony. The afternoon included Veditz History by Greg Randall, VAD History by Race Drake, and VSDAA History by Rhonda Jennings-Arey. The program ended with the Birthday Cake Cutting ceremony by Donna Graff-Viall and Michele Paoni VanBoxlaere. Pat Beech shared her YouTube video for this event:

A special issue was created by Pat Beech, see VAD-VSDAA Party Bash Summary (PDF format)

Pictures can be found here.


Shirt SALE!!!

Denims, long sleeved, womens have no pockets on shirts while men have pockets. price varies by size. Also selling 3 colors of the cardinal long sleeved shirts. Contact Janet Wright or use VSDAA contact us page to get more info. Limited quantity/stock left.Limited Supplies left!  Prices as of December 2023!  They gotta go!!!!

Psst, don’t forget that we will have our VSDAA Reunion on October 3-5, 2024!  Hope to see you there too!


VSDAA 2024 baseball caps announcement

Black baseball cap featuring cardinal bird on front with 'VSDB' on the back for sale

Hello Everyone,

On behalf of the VSDAA Reunion Committee wants to explain to you WHY we cannot place an order VSDB Baseball cap in Black @ front of cap shows “head of Cardinals” and back of cap shows /  reads as it is “VSDB.”  So far, We only have 8 people, which is very expensive ….It is better to have 25 caps or more for $30.  If you are interested to order a cap and PLEASE get touch with Rusty Thompson, Janet Wright or Charity Morris at your earliest convenience.   
As always THANKS for your continued support. 
Sally Thompson
VSDAA 2024 Reunion Chairperson
Hint: Price goes up for few orders, not good.  Order many, cost goes down. 

Update: Mascot Poll

Deaf Alumni Only
I received replies on refusing to vote on the chosen Mascot Designs via email and social media. The poll is created so I would like to have a number of votes to be submitted as the vote certification.

Please share with the Deaf alumni

VSDB Mascot Ballot Information

Please watch the first video from VSDAA President Michele VanBoxlaere as she explains the basic process, while the VSDB video provides an ASL version of the PDF file found below.  Also, please share this with all alumni ASAP as results must be sent by May 25, 2023.


Click here for the Video Transcript (PDF version)
Email your Alumni choices to Michele VanBoxlaere at vsdaapresident at
— No online poll setup yet, email poll for now. 


ASL version describing the 2 mascots to pick from based on the PDF file below.
Fox like at 4:50 mark and Falcon like at 5:52 mark.


Unified VSDB Mascot Ballot for Alumni (PDF version)


Below are your choices or don’t vote at all.

This Defender is a bird-like image. The image shows the full body of the bird with large, strong, outstretched wings. The wings give a sense of protection. The red and blue feathers honor the history of the Cardinal and the Chief. This Defender is shown in flight and resembles a falcon with a strong, sharp, tan beak with fierce piercing red eyes. Its talons are sharp and ready to pounce. This Defender is fast, alert, brave, confident, and daring. It is always listening and watching from the sky, ready to protect and defend VSDB. This Defender is a fox-like image facing right. It has fur streaked with red and blue. Its snout has red, blue, and white fur. Its red eyes are intense with a determined stare. They are alert and see everything around it. There is a mix of red and blue feathers gathered closely around the neck. The feathers honor the history of the Cardinal and the Chief. The Defender’s ears are upright, alert and strong, listening intently even for the faintest sound. This Defender is bold, strong, fierce, alert, powerful, and protective. It is ready to attack quickly to defend VSDB.

** Update, a separate poll was setup to help count how many refused to vote for the new mascot choices above (fox/falcon).  See **

VSDB BOV Meeting (March 8, 2023)

Board of Visitors (BOV) will have a meeting on March 8, 2023 at 10:30am in the Chapel.  Visitors are welcome at to attend and you probably need to check in with security for a visitors pass.  NO TOURS will be happening after the meeting as students are still on campus.  If you want a tour, you can go when there are no students on campus – usually weekends only.


Below is Pat Trice’s message (long version):

I know that many alumni will come to campus on March 8th for BOV meeting  I think that many alumni will want to stay and visit and walk around campus but they can’t because students are on campus.  
When students are on campus, no visitors are allowed at VSDB.   Please let the alumni know that they are welcome to come to BOV meeting but they will not be allowed to visit or walk around campus before or after the meeting.  When the meeting is finished, they will all need to leave campus.   They can’t stay and visit or walk around. 
It is VSDB policy that no visitors are on campus when students there. That is for all visitors, not just alumni.  They can come back to visit on any weekend from Friday 12:30 (students leave a noon) through Sunday at 4:00pm (students arrive after that).   
I hope they understand that it is VSDB job to keep students safe.  
Thanks for letting them know. 
Pat Trice, MA, RID TC/CT/CI
Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind

Main Hall Renovation pictures (December, 2022)

The exterior portion of the Main Hall is nearly complete.  A water pipe broke inside during an extreme cold spell/blast before Christmas 2022, no pictures yet.  This occurred when windows were being replaced and had plywood covering while waiting for new windows.  Repairs are under way. Previous renovation pictures of the main hall can be found on our Facebook page including the VSDB Museum Facebook page.  These pictures came from Superintendent Patricia Trice.

VSDB Main Hall, Dec. 2022, center
New steps nearly completed. The previous steps completed a few years ago had cracks and foundation issues so it had to be redone. Scaffolding can be seen behind the columns
VSDB Main Hall, Dec. 2022, right side
Right side of Main Hall (towards Bass Hall), construction supplies can be seen here.
VSDB Main Hall, Dec. 2022, left side
Left side of Main Hall, portable crane lift can be seen along with a construction sign directing people around.
VSDB Main Hall, Dec. 2022
Nearly finished exterior front part of Main Hall


Deaf Printers Page

A printer prepares a printing page for the printer - black and white photo.

Sharing this useful history as VSDB used to have something like this before.  There were some names listed that came up throughout VSDB years as well.

VSDB One School Plan

VSDB One School Schedule, Fall 2022 for students, Jan 2023 for employees and alumni then February 2023 for final ideas and voting to merge blind and deaf schools/mascots together
As we move forward with the One School Plan,   I want to provide you with a timeline of the process and the goals.  Please see the attachment below.
Stakeholder meetings will be done by a company  who have worked with VSDB previously in the development of the 5-year strategic plan.  Stakeholders are the students, employees, and alumni of VSDB.
This process will take several months and will occur in phases:
  • The first phase includes  the stakeholder meetings that will focus on collecting ideas for  a mascot and colors that will unite and represent VSDB as one school. Please see the attachment below.  It will also include a voting process with all stakeholders that will determine the final decision for the mascot and colors.
  • Stakeholder meetings will be in person.  If people cannot attend the meetings, they can email their ideas to VSDB.  There will be a special vsdb email address for sending ideas.
  • After the mascot and colors are chosen,  there will be meetings to discuss how to preserve the history, culture, and traditions of the Blind and the Deaf Department. It is very important that the history,  culture, and traditions be honored and passed on to the students of VSDB.
  • Student Stakeholder meetings will occur in mid-November.
  • The employee and alumni meetings will be scheduled for some time in January.
I look forward to working as a team  with everyone to establish a more inclusive educational setting that represents equal value and representation for all students. Please let me know if you have any questions. Your input is welcomed!
– Pat Trice, VSDB Superintendent