Alumnus Triumphs at the Polls

Vincent Gray holds a banner with his name on it with volunteers from campaign
September 16, 2010

George Washington graduate Vincent Gray, B.A. ’64, is almost certain to be the District of Columbia’s next mayor.

Currently chairman of the D.C. Council, Mr. Gray defeated incumbent mayor Adrian Fenty in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. The general election is Nov. 2, and no Republican has filed to run.

“We are proud that a GW alumnus has won the D.C. primary,” says Michael Akin, assistant vice president for government, international and community relations. “Chairman Gray is a distinguished public servant, and we wish him the best as he works to make this great city even better.”

GW Student Association President Jason Lifton was standing beside Mr. Gray when he gave his acceptance speech.

“It was very exciting to be there,” says Mr. Lifton. “Having a GW alumnus as mayor will hopefully engage students more in what goes on in this city and provide more incentive for students to get involved.”

Mr. Lifton was one of several members of the GW community at the event, including Bernard Demczuk, assistant vice president of government relations, Rob Maxim, executive vice president of the Student Association, and about a dozen students.

Mr. Gray has served as executive director of the D.C. Association for Retarded Citizens and director of the D.C. Department of Human Services. He also co-founded Covenant House, a youth services nonprofit organization.

In 2004, Mr. Gray was elected to the D.C. Council, and in 2006 he was elected Council chairman.

At GW, Mr. Gray became the first black member of a university fraternity and later served as president of Tau Epsilon Phi for two consecutive terms. In 2009, he was awarded the university’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

“Vincent Gray’s victory affirms the power of the democratic process,” says Dr. Demczuk, who has known Mr. Gray for 25 years. “Today is a new day in the nation’s capital, and we look forward to working with D.C. leadership and residents to build ‘one city.’”

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