University Holiday on Inauguration Day, Important Safety Information

GW leadership provides update on steps to protect safety of university community in anticipation of Inauguration Day.

January 13, 2021

To the George Washington University Community:

As you know, the safety of our university community is our foremost priority.  In the wake of the events at the Capitol and in anticipation of the upcoming presidential inauguration, we expect local and federal agencies will deploy a significant security presence in the District over the coming days due to the potential for further civil unrest.  This will include a large contingent of National Guard members, and we anticipate there may be checkpoints, roadblocks, and other limitations on movement in the vicinity of our Foggy Bottom campus.  After consulting with our safety and security teams, we believe it is necessary to take additional steps to protect your safety.

We will designate Inauguration Day, on January 20, 2021, as a university holiday. All offices will be closed and, as previously planned, we will not hold classes.  Essential operations will continue, designated on-site staff will report to work, and we will have an expanded security presence to support our on-campus residential students.

In addition, please note the following new and previously announced operational plans:

  • The Foggy Bottom campus will be limited to residential students and designated on-site staff from Jan. 16 through Jan. 20.  If you are not required to come to campus, do not come to campus.
  • As previously planned, Jan. 18 is a university holiday in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. There are no classes and offices will be closed.
  • The Medical Faculty Associates will be closed on Jan. 18 and Jan. 20 as previously planned.  On Jan. 19, the MFA Foggy Bottom clinics will be closed and will transition all patient encounters to telehealth visits when feasible or reschedule patients for a later date as needed. 
  • COVID-19 testing sites on the Foggy Bottom campus will be closed from Jan. 18 through Jan. 20.  The Virginia Science and Technology Campus testing site will be open Jan. 19 through Jan. 21 with regularly scheduled hours.
  • Campus libraries (Gelman, Himmelfarb, and the Law School) will maintain virtual operations but no in-person services from Jan. 16 through Jan. 20. 

We will activate the university’s Emergency Operations Center to continually monitor conditions and send email and text alerts to the GW community as necessary.  We also will post additional guidance, including safety precautions and other more detailed operational information, on Campus Advisories.  Our on-campus residential students will receive additional guidance and support from the Division for Student Affairs about preparations and the resources available to them in the coming days.  Designated on-site staff, researchers, and other members of the on-campus cohort also will receive additional information directly.

We recognize that the beginning of the new year has presented yet more challenges for our country, and we understand the difficult impact recent events have had on our students, faculty, and staff.  Please be assured that, as ever, safety is driving every action we take, and we remain in close coordination with our local, regional, and federal partners.  We stand ready to take any additional actions necessary to protect the safety of our campus and our university community.

Stay safe and stay well.


Thomas J. LeBlanc, President
M. Brian Blake, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mark Diaz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Barbara Bass, Vice President for Health Affairs; Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences; Chief Executive Officer, GW Medical Faculty Associates
M.L. “Cissy” Petty, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Scott Burnotes, Vice President for Safety and Facilities
Dana Bradley, Vice President and Chief People Officer

University News