With the attention of the world focused on Washington, D.C., for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, the university is celebrating the historic moment and taking the opportunity to showcase its students, faculty, research and academic experience.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to come to Washington, D.C., for Inauguration Day on Jan. 21, and millions more across the globe will watch on TV or online.
“All eyes will be on Washington, creating a tremendous opportunity for the George Washington University to leverage its location to tell the university’s story and demonstrate the impact the GW community has on the world,” said Lorraine Voles, vice president for external relations.
GW will present these stories on the revamped Making History microsite that will feature some of the 350 videos recorded by students, faculty, alumni and staff as part of the launch of the university’s new visual identity during the fall semester. Individual George Washington student stories will be highlighted in campus signage, Union Station billboards and other venues throughout January.
In addition to the increased visibility, the GW community will be celebrating the inauguration with several events.
On Jan. 19, George Washington students, faculty and staff will take part in a national day of service in partnership with Points of Light and Target. Participants will meet on Kogan Plaza and will be provided with bus transportation to the Washington, D.C., Armory for day-long service projects. President Steven Knapp is expected to speak at the event.
On Jan. 20, Dr. Knapp, Diane Robinson Knapp and Rep. Tammy Duckworth, M.A. ’92, a newly sworn-in member of Congress from Illinois, will host a reception honoring veterans at the F Street House. They will be joined by co-hosts Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy B.J. Penn, M.S. ’80, a GW trustee, and Vice Admiral Norb Ryan Jr., M.A. ’74, who currently serves as president of the Military Officers Association of America.
On Inauguration Day, the university will be near the center of much of the inauguration activities. To highlight GW community members’ participation, the university is hosting a social media contest designed to capture the entire experience of George Washington students and alumni on Inauguration Day. Entrants will compete to collect points—by tweeting quotes and posting images from the day’s events, for example—and earn prizes. To learn more about the contest, click here.
The day will conclude with the GW Inaugural Ball—the only major university inaugural ball. The event was so anticipated that it sold out in one day. The ball will take place at the Omni Shoreham just a few hours after the president is publicly sworn in.
“Nothing says GW, D.C. or history better than the excitement of a presidential inauguration,” said Peter Konwerski, dean of students. “The inauguration gives us an opportunity to highlight the unique aspects of GW that make the university such a special place to live, learn, study and serve.”
Read George Washington Today’s interview with Darrell Darnell for more information about safety and security during inauguration.