Wall fo Fame

Becoming Cartoons

May 12, 2011

New Wall of Fame inductees honored for dedication to improving student life.

by Laura Donnelly-Smith

GW President Steven Knapp has, by any account, accomplished a great deal in his career as a scholar, professor and university president. But there was one goal that always seemed out of his reach—until now.

“I have always wanted to be a cartoon,” Dr. Knapp said Tuesday at the 12th annual Wall of Fame induction ceremony. Dr. Knapp and 10 other Colonial faculty members, students and staff members were presented with their caricatures and inducted as the newest members of the Wall of Fame, which honors commitment to improving the quality of student life at the university. The wall was introduced in 2000.

Other 2011 inductees were Columbian College Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies Paul Duff, outgoing Executive Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz, Senior Property Manager Robin Laird, Executive Director of the Student Activities Center Tim Miller, and GW seniors Krista Bacungan, Jason Lifton, Emily Rasowsky, William Ricketson, Vicktery Sanchez and Andre Lamar Smith.

“It is an honor to be joined by this group of tremendous university citizens,” Dr. Knapp said during the induction ceremony. Robert Chernak, Ed.D. ’97, senior vice provost and senior vice president for student and academic support services, presented Dr. Knapp with his caricature, which features the university president gearing up for a snowball fight—a reference to his participation in a snowball battle during the “Snowmageddon” storm in February 2010.

“No longer can we refer to you as ‘off the wall,’ President Knapp,” Dr. Chernak said. He emphasized that the caricatures, while light-hearted, honor “special people who contribute to the betterment of student life.”

Inductee Jack Kvancz spoke about his 17 years as athletics director at GW and the students he has worked with along the way. “I can’t put into words what this honor means,” Mr. Kvancz said. “My fondest memories of my years at GW are of the great students. Thank you for allowing me to join you in this ride.”

Inductee Robin Laird explained how her life—and the lives of her children—changed for the better when she was hired to work at GW in 2002. “I was a single mom of five kids, on welfare, waiting in line for food stamps,” Ms. Laird said. “Those were challenging times. Being hired by GW provided opportunities for my children and for me that we could have only imagined. I know what it’s like to need a hand up, and it’s a privilege and a blessing to do my job to help others.”

Student inductees spoke about the achievements for which they were nominated—which included serving as a leader of a multicultural sorority, leading the Student Association as president, starting a sexual assault awareness organization on campus, leading GW’s club sailing team, holding leadership roles in a Latino student organization, and founding a student-run gospel choir.

The caricatures, which were created by local artist Marcia Klioze, will be displayed with those of approximately 150 other Wall of Fame inductees on the fifth floor of Marvin Center.

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