GW Celebrates Bicentennial Highlight | GW today
By Nick Erickson
A spectacular light show filling the skies meant across Washington, DC that the Foggy Bottom Campus at George Washington University was the place to be on Saturday night. The sold-out Bicentennial Bash, which closed Kogan Plaza for an evening filled with food, games and even an acrobat show, was the exclamation point of a weekend celebrating moments exclusive to GW for 200 years.
The Bicentennial Bash, a flagship event of the Centuries Celebration Weekend, brought together alumni, current students, parents and friends for a community night as the urban campus sparkled with images of the past and present projected outside the Gelman Library.
“It is a remarkable community, and it is an honor and a privilege to be a part of it,” said GW President Thomas LeBlanc on Saturday evening. “Even a pandemic cannot prevent us from coming together to celebrate this special bicentennial. “
Dr LeBlanc thanked all healthcare workers and event planners for their work in ensuring that safety protocols were followed all weekend so that anyone who wanted to participate in the GW celebration could do so. to do.
The Saturday night celebration was the culmination of important events throughout the weekend. On Friday evening, GW hosted a reception and dinner in honor of its Monumental Alumni. The group consists of 73 alumni who have made their mark in the big world by living out GW’s mission to engage as global citizens in their respective fields. Set up in a pop-up tent spanning University Yard, the special event saw some of the prominent members of the GW community mingle with the pride of their institution.
“GW Alumni are a game-changer, focused on the laser to make a difference in their field, business or profession,” said GW Alumni Association President Christine Brown-Quinn, MBA ‘ 92. “These are individuals who are committed to using their education at GWU for a good platform and to make the world a better place a better place.”
One of the highlights of Friday night was when a group of around 20 GW students, all dressed in navy blue sweaters bearing the university logo, surrounded the Monumental Alumni and GW benefactors in the room. These current students, representing the 42 percent of GW’s undergraduate students who receive need-based financial aid, raised a glass to toast to thank those in attendance for their monumental example and continued support. Moments earlier, Board Chair Grace Speights, JD ’82, announced a new initiative opening doors to education for incoming undergraduates, especially those facing challenges. bigger financial challenges, starting with this fall’s freshman class.
“Those of us here tonight are representative of the entire GW community, the thousands of aspiring change makers who are of diverse cultures, backgrounds and disciplines,” said Jungwoo Yang, Senior Major in business administration, who led the group of students during the toast. “You have helped GW grow, so that we can grow. “
Also on Friday there were receptions for the 2020 and 2021 classes as well as a decades reunion.
Friday’s energy continued through Saturday, as Foggy Bottom hummed early in the morning until the Bicentennial Bash was over. Graduates of the 2020 and 2021 classes who returned for their debut celebration on the National Mall lined up for photos of their favorite places on campus.
Events throughout the day kept things going. In the afternoon, University Yard settled in to show the series of short documentaries that the university put together during the bicentennial. Alumni could also take a trip down memory lane, and current students could show off their headquarters with the residential neighborhood showcases that offered people the opportunity to visit various GW residences during a full event.
Bicentennial party attendees started lining up near Kogan Plaza nearly an hour before the event started. Some took the opportunity to stock up on GW gear in the campus store, which is backing into Kogan Plaza. With buff and blue shirts dotting Kogan Square as day turned to night, the Bicentennial Bash was the highlight of a weekend that reminded everyone in attendance – and neighbors nearby – what makes GW special. Dr LeBlanc, Ms Speights and Athletic Director Tanya Vogel gave closing remarks before the acrobats who descended the walls of the Gelman Library using a harness punctuated the night.
“We have a lot to celebrate,” Dr. LeBlanc told the crowd.
And celebrate GW all weekend.