President LeBlanc Visits GW Community in London

In his first international trip as president, Dr. LeBlanc shared his vision for the university.

President LeBlanc and GW community members
GW President Thomas LeBlanc provided university community members in London with a preview of GW's future and took questions. (Photos by Mathias Falcone)
June 03, 2019

George Washington University President Thomas LeBlanc recently shared his vision for GW’s path into its third century with the university community in London, marking his first international trip as president.

GW has a strong presence in the U.K., with more than 400 alumni, including 175 in the London metropolitan region. More than 50 students are in London for one of GW’s study abroad programs and nine students from the U.K. will be part of the Class of 2023.  

The trip featured a community reception, attended by alumni, donors, faculty, families, incoming students, Dr. LeBlanc's wife, Anne LeBlanc, and GW Board of Trustees member A. Michael Hoffman; a special reception for study abroad students; and several smaller group meetings with Dr. LeBlanc, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Donna Arbide and GW alumni and friends.

In his remarks, Dr. LeBlanc said events like the evening’s reception, and enhancements to GW’s alumni programs such as the new GW Alumni Association volunteer leadership, will help strengthen connections between alumni and the university, for the benefit of all parties.

Ari Massefski, B.A. ’15, moved to London last year to complete a master’s degree in global ethics and human values at King’s College London. He said he was appreciative Dr. LeBlanc was able to share his vision for the university in person with more than 65 members of the GW community.

“[Dr. LeBlanc’s] ideas, from the exciting renovation of Thurston Hall to his promise to address institutional culture at GW, are inspiring and, even from afar, I'm excited to see what lies ahead in Foggy Bottom,” Mr. Massefski said.

He added that connecting with GW alumni abroad has been “one of the highlights” of his time in London.

“Whether you’re moving across the street or across the world, change is difficult and finding the GW community in your new area can help make you feel at home so much more quickly,” he said. “There are more than 290,000 GW alumni around the world, and connecting with Colonials wherever you are gives you a group of friends with shared memories and shared experiences—and with whom you can make new memories in your new home.”

This summer the new GW Alumni Association (GWAA) will host a virtual listening tour for alumni around the world to share their feedback and ideas regarding the strategic priorities of the GWAA. More information, including tour dates and an online feedback form, will be available later this summer at

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