Colonials Celebrate President Knapp in New York

Members of the GW community honor Dr. Knapp at an event Nov. 16.

Dr. Knapp in NYC
Parents Campaign Philanthropy Board member Scott Kulok (l), President Steven Knapp and GW Board of Trustees member Gabbi Baker at event in New York. (Photo by Ben Solomon)
November 21, 2016

More than 200 alumni, parents, donors and friends gathered to toast GW President Steven Knapp for his contributions to the university at a special event in New York City on Nov. 16.

In his remarks, Dr. Knapp recognized the “strong and vibrant” community of GW alumni around the world, which includes approximately 20,000 alumni and 3,000 current GW parents in the New York metropolitan region alone.

“There is no question in my mind that our primary contribution to the world and the primary way through which we make history remains our alumni,” he said. “Our students are what we give to the world because it is through them we make history.”

The evening included remarks by GW Board of Trustees member Gabbi Baker, B.B.A. ’13, and Scott Kulok, former GW parent and member of the Parents Campaign Philanthropy Board, who shared their personal connections with GW and thanked Dr. Knapp for his dedication to the university.

Dr. Knapp reflected on GW’s growth during his tenure, including eight major new LEED-certified buildings and an extraordinary expansion in research over the last decade, noting that in the first quarter of this fiscal year alone, GW received 135 new research awards totaling more than $88 million.

He also announced that GW’s major philanthropic campaign Making History: The Campaign for GW recently crossed the $900 million threshold, closing in on its $1 billion goal. Dr. Knapp said a special focus of the campaign is supporting students and that the university has raised $120 million in Power & Promise scholarships and fellowships since he assumed his role in 2007.

Highlighting a few of the “only at GW” notable events and visitors to campus this fall, including Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and former attorney general and current GW parent Eric Holder, Dr. Knapp also praised GW students for their culture of service, political activism and citizen leadership.

For Joseph Altenau, B.A. ’08, the evening was an opportunity to honor Dr. Knapp for his leadership and to reconnect with other Colonials. As a member of the GW Alumni Association Board of Directors and Young Alumni Network in New York, Mr. Altenau said he recognizes the value of remaining engaged with the university and other Colonials through alumni programming. “I owe everything I have now to my time at GW, and that’s why it’s important for me to give back and stay involved with the university,” he said.

Guests included GW Board of Trustees members Diana Henriques, B.A. ’69, and Steve Ross, B.B.A. ’81, and Lynn Goldman, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Public Health at Milken Institute School of Public Health.