University Welcomes the Corcoran School

GW’s newest students come to campus following historic arts agreement.

Junior Camila Rondon guides Corcoran students at Colonial Inauguration.
Junior Camila Rondon guides Corcoran students at Colonial Inauguration.
August 25, 2014
When fraternal twins Zach and Sarah Marin applied to college last year, they checked completely different boxes on their applications. Sarah knew she wanted a career in international affairs. Zach opted for an artsier route and settled on a photojournalism major.
Their interests fall on opposite ends of the spectrum, but now their paths might be crossing a little more than they anticipated.
Sarah was accepted to the George Washington University. Zach got into the Corcoran College. Following the finalized agreement among GW, the Corcoran and the National Gallery, Zach will be one of nearly 370 Corcoran students joining the George Washington University community through a partnership that builds upon GW’s arts education and preserves the Corcoran’s legacy.
The D.C. Superior Court allowed the agreement to proceed last week, following a month-long evidentiary hearing. The decision means GW is now responsible for the Corcoran College—renamed the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design within GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences—and the Corcoran’s 17th Street building. Full-time Corcoran faculty and staff will also become part of GW.
A Colonial Inauguration was held last week to welcome incoming Corcoran students and their parents. Corcoran students who will be living on campus moved into Mitchell Hall and had a chance to tour GW’s campus and learn more about the university community. 
“I was pleased to be among the first members of the GW community to have the opportunity to meet and speak with Corcoran students and their parents at CI and welcome them into the GW community,” said Associate Dean of Students Danielle Lico.
Junior Camila Rondon, one of eight orientation leaders from the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, spent the afternoon in the Marvin Center, greeting families like the Marins and answering questions for students. She said that the process of approving the agreement had been a nerve-racking one, but that she’d noticed a sense of relief among Corcoran students following the final decision.
“Finding out the answer to everyone’s big questions about the Corcoran definitely gives some calm to incoming students,” she said. “Things are moving forward so we’re working on getting everyone prepared for the school year.
Since Corcoran students are joining the GW community, the university’s facilities will also be available to them—something Ms. Rondon said is eliciting a lot of excitement.
“A lot of students are looking forward to access to the library and other facilities, like the gym, and having a bigger campus,” she said.
The agreement also gives the entire GW community access to more art on campus. Visitors will no longer be charged general admission fees at the 17th Street building, and hours of operation are now Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The current tour schedule can be found here.
GW students, staff and faculty can browse four exhibits currently on display in Gallery 31, a space in the 17th Street building that hosts exhibits from Corcoran students, alumni, faculty and visiting artists. On Sept. 3, Gallery 31 will open “Fathom,” an installation by Brooklyn artist Joseph Asher Hale.
Leslee Marin, Zach and Sarah’s mom, said she’s excited about both her children’s careers at GW, and that the university has provided valuable support throughout move-in and housing processes. Visiting her kids at college just got a whole lot easier: “It’ll be like one-stop shopping,” she said.
While Zach and Sarah are still adjusting to the idea of attending the same college, both of them have other things on their mind. Sarah is looking forward to getting involved in campus organizations, while Zach has an eye out for photography opportunities.
“I think there might be different things internship-wise through the relationships GW has that Corcoran might not have had, so I’m looking forward to that,” Zach said.
Zach still has a few more days of summer left to think about his future at GW—Corcoran classes don’t start until Wednesday. But for Sarah, and the rest of the university community, it’s back to the books on Monday.