Oct. 1, 2002

President Signs New Five-Year Contract

The Board of Trustees Extends President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg’s Term Through 2007

The Board of Trustees has announced that Stephen Joel Trachtenberg will continue in his position as president of The George Washington University through 2007. President Trachtenberg, whose previous contract was expected to be fulfilled at the conclusion of the 2002–03 academic year, has served as president of the University since 1988 and has guided GW’s emergence as a major national research University.

“By any measure of a University’s strength, the impact of Steve Trachtenberg’s outstanding leadership is obvious,” says Ambassador Charles T. Manatt, chair of the Board of Trustees. “On his watch, applications to attend GW have reached all-time highs, the quality of the faculty and students has never been better, the endowment has increased dramatically, and the campus has been transformed by new academic buildings and residence halls.”

Named one of the 12 “hottest” schools in the 2002 Kaplan/Newsweek guide “How to Get into College,” GW has steadily risen among the country’s four-year institutions. In 1988, when Trachtenberg first arrived at GW, only six were National Merit Scholars (in a freshman class of 1,349). This fall’s incoming freshman class of 2,250 boasts 35 merit scholars.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to continue to lead GW, an institution committed first and foremost to academic excellence,” says Trachtenberg. “Our strength is derived from the talents and commitments of an extraordinary faculty, administration, staff, and Board of Trustees. As a result, we are attracting some of the best and brightest students from across the nation and around the world to live, work, and study at GW.”

In May, Trachtenberg was elected to the nation’s preeminent learned society, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, for his leadership of GW and his role in integrating the urban campus into the fabric of the community and the local government. Among his many awards, the Brooklyn, NY native also has been a Washingtonian magazine “Washingtonian of the Year” and was honored by his alma mater, Columbia University, with its distinguished alumni achievement award.

Trachtenberg’s commitment to education and the community also is evidenced by the initiation of the 21st Century Scholars program in 1989 (subsequently renamed the Trachtenberg Scholars by the Board of Trustees), which awards full, four-year scholarships to outstanding DC public high school seniors. The scholarships, along with other grants and work-study programs, have made GW the largest single post-secondary contributor of aid to DC Public Schools for the last eight years. GW’s total commitment since the inception of the program is approximately $8 million.

Through Trachtenberg’s stewardship, GW’s campus in Foggy Bottom has undergone a significant transformation, including the completion of Kogan Plaza — a new centralized, outdoor meeting place, construction of the Lerner Family Health and Wellness Center, the installation of busts of George Washington marking the boundaries of campus, and classically inspired iron gates providing a scholarly ambience.

“As someone in the field of art, I have been especially pleased with the physical changes at the Foggy Bottom campus,” says Lilien Robinson, chair of the executive committee of the University’s Faculty Senate and professor of art history. “We now have an underlying design that will serve as a basis for continued unification of the campus.”

New academic buildings for the Elliott School of International Affairs and the School of Media and Public Affairs, as well as an addition to the Law School and a new GW Hospital, have been completed. Plans for a new home for the School of Business and Public Management are on the drawing board, and a National Transportation Safety Board investigation training academy is underway at the Virginia Campus. New Hall, a 450-bed residence hall was completed in 1996 and two new residential projects — a row of traditional-style townhouses and a 710-bed residence hall — are underway on 23rd Street.


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