GW Community Raises High at Colonials Weekend

Three days of activities across multiple campuses unite students, families, faculty and staff in showing school spirit.

October 17, 2016

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Freshman Justin Williams slam dunks at Colonial Madness Friday night. (Logan Werlinger/GW Today)

Thousands of students, family members, staff and faculty celebrated the George Washington University's Colonials Weekend with more than 50 activities ranging from Colonial Madness—launching the men's and women's basketball teams and introducing new coaches for both—to decorating pumpkins at the Mount Vernon Campus's Vern Harvest to dancing in the streets at the Foggy Bottom/West End Neighborhood Block Party.

Humorist David Sedaris took the stage at Lisner Auditorium Friday night, shortly before the Colonials basketball teams and coaches Jennifer Rizzotti for the women and interim coach Maurice Joseph for the men took to the floor at the Charles E. Smith Center.

Parents of GW students began arriving for the weekend fun hours earlier, filling the Marvin Center’s Great Hall soon after the 3 p.m. start of Colonials Weekend family check-in.

 Jose Alpizar, whose daughter, Sofia, is a freshman, came to the Foggy Bottom Campus from their home in Potomac, Md. Because the family lives relatively close to GW, Mr. Alpizar said he has seen his daughter several times during the fall semester.

His wife registered the family for several events, including the breakfast with the dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs.

His goal for the weekend was simple.

"As a family we want to grow closer to the university and get a good look at the environment,” Mr. Alpizar said.

With Saturday came meet-the-dean sessions at various GW schools, a men’s soccer game vs. St. Joseph on the Mount Vernon Campus, tours of the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum and the Mount Vernon Estate of the nation’s first president. At sundown, Acapellapalooza, the annual high-energy concert featuring a capella groups from GW, kicked off at Lisner.

On Sunday, the block party shut down I Street between 22nd and 23rd streets for four hours of dancing, chess playing, food tasting and general socializing.  It was the 14th annual block party. 

“I’m delighted to have so many of our neighborhood businesses, institutions and community groups here with us today,” George Washington President Steven Knapp said in brief remarks.

 Below is a gallery of some of the weekend's memorable moments: