University recognizes alumni success, engagement with more than 60 events.
By James Irwin
As a graduate student in the mid-1960s, Mark Shenkman believed he would one day be in a position to put his family name on a George Washington University campus building.
He even wrote it down as a goal for a class project.
Enrolled in a case management and strategic planning course, Mr. Shenkman, M.B.A. ’67, now a member of the university Board of Trustees, outlined a plan to one day repay GW for offering him an opportunity to launch a successful career.
“There were no right or wrong answers. The key was for students to think and plan their future in concrete terms,” Mr. Shenkman said of the assignment. “In the 1960s, I believe no university allocated resources to a separate career services department. Therefore, to me, the assignment was special and significant.”
More than 45 years later, the dream of putting his family name on a university building has become a reality. GW dedicated Shenkman Hall on Friday at an Alumni Weekend ceremony attended by students, faculty, staff and trustees. The building, a Foggy Bottom Campus residence hall formerly known as Ivory Tower, was renamed following a $5 million donation from Mr. Shenkman and his wife, Rosalind, to support the very initiative that put him on a path to success: career planning.
“The real intent of our family gift is to facilitate and help GW students launch their professional careers,” Mr. Shenkman said of the donation to the GW Career Services Enhancement Initiative and the F. David Fowler Career Center at the School of Business. “Students should be afforded a greater opportunity to develop the required personal skills and marketing techniques necessary to secure a meaningful job upon graduation.”
Mr. Shenkman’s unwavering support for his alma mater—he also is a member of the GWSB Advisory Board and funded the move and expansion of Veterans Memorial Park in 2013—highlighted a busy and spirited Alumni Weekend at GW, as the university and George Washington Alumni Association welcomed thousands of graduates back to campus.
Nearly 2,000 alumni enjoyed more than 60 events from Thursday through Sunday, ranging from reunion celebrations and academic gatherings to networking receptions and tours of campus.