Robert Duncan Nicol has never heard the sound of his own voice. He did not speak until he was 10 years old. But since Nicol found his voice, he has dedicated his life to proving that deafness, while limiting, would never deter him from achieving his dreams.
Now a retired architect and vineyard-owner, Nicol has committed to helping individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing by pledging $2 million to Fresno State’s Department of Communicative Disorders & Deaf Studies in the College of Health and Human Services. His gift establishes the Robert Duncan Nicol Endowed Chair in the Silent Garden and is the largest single gift to the College of Health and Human Services.
A celebration of his generosity was held Friday, Jan. 27, at Fresno State’s Kremen Education Building. University President John D. Welty formally announced the gift and Nicol spoke to members of the deaf community, hoping to improve their lives not only through his gift, but also through his personal story.