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Fresno State receives a $2 million donation

Saturday, January 28, 2012

People who live with a hearing deficit have a new best friend in the Valley.

This unassuming benefactor is himself deaf and was looking for a program to fund that would offer families and students a path to achieve and succeed.

Robert Duncan Nicol said, "It is probably the only one on the west coast that had an excellent deaf education program."

His gift will benefit the 'Silent Garden' project, endowed by a friend, Dr. Paul Ogden to cultivate communication for the deaf and hard of hearing in the Central Valley.

Nicol's life includes excelling in his education, his architectural firm and now as a vineyard owner in the Napa Valley. Being deaf challenged his life but did not hinder his success.

"Ignore the restrictions placed upon you," said Nicol. "Them, that they can't do it. They can."

Good advice for this father.

Jimmy Bronson said, "I want people to understand that deaf people can do anything they can, except 'hear". And as you saw, Bob Nicol played the piano, he owned an architecture firm."

Bronson brought his young daughter, who's also deaf, to hear and learn about this special gift. She enjoyed watching Nicol's video about this life.

Courtney Bronson said, "I thought he was a good speaker and very good at videos."

This 9 year old joined many others gathered who are very happy to meet and to thank Robert Duncan Nicol for his generous donation.

"If you don't have hope, forget it!"

This $2 million dollar gift will bring experts and outreach to insure the so-called "Silent Garden" will grow and flourish.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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