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Hopkins’ Provost Dr. Steven Knapp Selected as GW’s 16th President | W. Russell Ramsey Named Chairman of Board of Trustees; 2007-08 Officers Elected | Board Honors Trachtenberg with Endowed University Professorship | GW Endowment Reaches $1 Billion | Presidential Views on Global Affairs | In Partnership Project, GW Plans New Residence Hall | GW’s 20-Year Foggy Bottom Campus Plan Approved | GW Targets $4.5 Million Toward Academic Excellence | Standing Strong For Virginia Tech | Historical Bank Records Move to GW | Alumna Marguerite Barratt Named Columbian College Dean | Jazz Band Showcases That Swing | A ‘Signature of Loudoun’ | Colonials in Congress | Nurturing the Flock | VA Campus Hosts High Schoolers | Re-spoutin’ the Fountain | George Welcomes | GW in History | A Faculty for Writing

Hopkins’ Provost Dr. Steven Knapp Selected as GW’s 16th President

GW Trustee Nelson Carbonell, BS ’85; GW President-elect Dr. Steven Knapp; and GW Chairman-elect W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81

Jessica McConnell

GW’s Board of Trustees has announced its selection of Dr. Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of The Johns Hopkins University, as GW’s 16th president. Knapp brings nearly 30 years of higher education experience and an impressive record of academic, fund-raising, and leadership accomplishments. He will assume office Aug. 1, 2007, succeeding Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, who will become President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service when his current term concludes in the summer of 2007.

“Steven Knapp possesses academic and research expertise, an exemplary fund-raising background, entrepreneurial spirit, and institutional, civic, and international leadership abilities that will help GW achieve the next level of success,” said W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, chairman-elect of the GW Board of Trustees and chairman of the presidential search committee. “The fact that Steve was the unanimous choice of the search committee speaks volumes about his credentials, especially given the tremendous interest in this position and the outstanding, diverse pool of candidates. We firmly believe we have found a very special successor to President Trachtenberg, one who shares the University’s vision and who will add to its prestige and reputation.”

Knapp joined The Johns Hopkins University in 1994 as dean of Arts and Sciences and has served since 1996 as provost. Johns Hopkins is the nation’s largest research university with $1.5 billion in federally sponsored research expenditures and also is Maryland’s largest private employer. As chief academic officer, Knapp coordinates the work of the eight Hopkins schools and develops strategies for regional, national, and international growth.

Knapp is actively engaged in fund raising, including an ongoing $3.2-billion capital campaign. His leadership accomplishments include the establishment of a university-wide equal opportunity and affirmative action office, a new fund for “target of opportunity” professorships, an undergraduate degree in neuroscience, the Phoebe R. Berman Bioethics Institute, the addition of an international research institute to the university’s campus in Nanjing, China, and a $20-million student arts center. Also, along with Hopkins President William R. Brody, he established a Commission on Undergraduate Education that has resulted in significant new initiatives in the areas of student life and diversity.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to assume the responsibilities of president of The George Washington University,” said Knapp. “It is also humbling to follow Steve Trachtenberg, whose leadership during his remarkable tenure has transformed the GW campus and propelled the University to international acclaim. GW is now poised to advance into the first rank of American research universities and to play a uniquely powerful role in shaping the future of higher education. I look forward to working with our entire University community—faculty, students, staff, trustees, alumni, and neighbors—in moving the institution forward, building its academic excellence, and drawing on its historic strengths and its unrivaled location in the heart of the nation’s capital.”

While at Hopkins, Knapp expanded the position of provost and assigned a special priority to the university’s role in the Baltimore region and, more widely, in the national and international communities. He organized an Urban Health Council to develop an effective university and health system response to public health problems in inner-city Baltimore, which resulted in the creation of the five-year-old Urban Health Institute. During his tenure, Hopkins created a director of city relations in its Office of Government Affairs to address town-gown issues.

Knapp has served for 10 years as the university’s representative to the Maryland Independent Colleges and Universities Association Board of Trustees and frequently testifies before the Maryland General Assembly. Knapp currently serves on the Maryland Governor’s Advisory Committee on Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education, and on the National Space Biomedical Research Institute board of directors, and he is chair of JHPIEGO Corp. Knapp also has been actively engaged in the strategic planning and lobbying efforts of the Association of American Universities and has directed international initiatives, including Johns Hopkins’ expansion of its institutional presence in Italy, China, and Singapore.

“Steven Knapp was selected following a comprehensive national search and we are delighted with the results,” said Charles T. Manatt, JD ’62, chairman, GW Board of Trustees. Manatt offered special thanks to Ramsey and the members of the search committee; to the many members of the University community who participated in the process through task force forums, led by Trustee Nelson Carbonell, BS ’85; and to President Trachtenberg for his nearly two years of “dynamic leadership that has propelled GW to unprecedented heights and has positioned the University for an even more successful future.”

President Trachtenberg said, “Over the years, I’ve talked with thousands of parents who have expressed the wonderful, yet mixed emotions attached to sending their children off to college. I now begin the process of sending my University off to its next president. Like any proud parent, I am filled with joy, a little sadness, and a great sense of satisfaction for all that has been accomplished to get us to this point. That GW has attracted a candidate of the caliber of Dr. Steven Knapp is a testament to our combined efforts to help GW become one of our truly great institutions of higher education. I look forward to working with Steve in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. And I look forward to our University’s future success under his leadership.”

Knapp joined Johns Hopkins after 16 years on the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, where he held many leadership positions in its Department of English. He is a specialist in 18th- and 19th-century English literature and literary theory, has written two books and numerous articles, and has lectured across the country. He earned his doctorate from Cornell University in 1981 after receiving a master’s degree there in 1977 and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1973. He and his wife, Diane, have a farm in Sparks, Md. They have two adult children, Jesse and Sarah.

W. Russell Ramsey Named Chairman of Board of Trustees; 2007-08 Officers Elected

On Feb. 9, the GW Board of Trustees elected W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, chairman and CEO of Ramsey Asset Management, as its next chairman. Ramsey will serve a three-year term starting July 1, succeeding Hon. Charles T. Manatt, JD ’62, who has served as chairman for the past six years.

Ramsey is a successful entrepreneur, having built multibillion-dollar businesses primarily in the fields of investment banking and money management. He is most widely known for co-founding Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, a top 10 investment bank, in 1989. Ramsey served as president and co-chief executive officer at FBR through 2001 and maintains an ongoing role as a shareholder and member of its board of directors. In 2001, he founded Ramsey Asset Management, a hedge fund manager based in the Washington, D.C., area, of which he is chairman, CEO, and CIO. He also sits on the board of JER Investors Trust and the National Geographic Council of Advisors.

Ramsey joined GW’s Board of Trustees in 1998 and has served as vice chairman of the board and chairman of the investment and the real estate committees. He also has chaired several special committees such as those for the presidential search and Square 54. During the past three years, he has overseen the creation and staffing of GW’s investment office led by Donald Lindsey.

In addition to the chairman, the 2007-08 board officers are Vice Chairwoman Lydia Thomas, who also served as vice chairwoman of the presidential search committee and is chairwoman of the Academic Affairs Committee and president and CEO of Mitretek Systems; Vice Chairman Nelson A. Carbonell Jr., BS ’85, who also served on the Presidential Search Committee and is chairman of the Advancement Committee, chairman of the Task Force on Advancement, and president and chairman of Snowbird Capital; Secretary Patricia Gurne, JD ’69, partner in Gurne Porter, PLLC; and Assistant Secretary I. Allan From, BBA ’72, who also is chairman of the Student Affairs Committee and shareholder in Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson, PA. Each member of the executive committee will serve a one-year term starting July 1.

Ramsey attended the GW School of Business on a baseball scholarship and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1981. He was a starter all four years and MVP and captain of the team in his senior year when he broke the GW record for most stolen bases in a season. Ramsey was inducted into GW’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and was an honorable-mention member of its All-Century Baseball Team.

Ramsey and his wife, Norma, have given generously to the GW School of Business’ finance programs and athletic teams. In 2005, the Ramseys donated $1 million to the University endowment to establish the Ramsey Student Investment Fund, an investment portfolio managed by GW MBA students in the Applied Portfolio Management course. In addition to the financial gift, Ramsey and his firm provide research support and investment expertise to students who are selected to manage the fund.

Ramsey is a native Washingtonian. He, Norma, and their four children live in Northern Virginia. The Ramseys are founding investors of Venture Philanthropy Partners, which has invested nearly $70 million in nonprofits in the D.C. area over the last five years by helping community leaders build strong nonprofit institutions. Through the W. Russell and Norma G. Ramsey Foundation, they have funded four-year scholarships for the D.C. Capital Area’s Big Brothers Big Sisters and supported a variety of philanthropic causes dedicated to at-risk families. Ramsey serves on the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates and has served on the Governor’s Commission on Information Technology, as a trustee for the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and is a founding member of One Virginia.

Board Honors Trachtenberg with Endowed University Professorship

The GW Board of Trustees announced that President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg will hold an endowed chair of public service in the School of Public Policy and Public Administration when he becomes President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service on Aug. 1. Following Trachtenberg’s retirement, future faculty members named to that position will occupy this endowed chair—to be known as the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg University Professorship in Public Service. Of the $3 million necessary to endow this professorship, in excess of $2 million already has been pledged.

“President Trachtenberg has transformed our University into an academic powerhouse with the largest endowment of universities in the nation’s capital, world-renowned faculty, and highly accomplished students and alumni,” says Charles T. Manatt, JD ’62, chairman of GW’s Board of Trustees. “His tireless efforts established a leadership role for the University in the District of Columbia and raised the University’s prestige and reputation around the globe, which will benefit the GW community for many years to come.”

“It has been my goal to ensure that George Washington’s desire to create a world-class university in the heart of the nation’s capital became a reality,” Trachtenberg says. “Today, it is a source of great pride to know that GW is an economic, political, and intellectual hub for both greater Washington and for students, faculty, and partners around the globe. I believe our namesake would be proud to see that this is both a center of scholarship and learning and also a school that embodies his spirit for public service. I am looking forward to returning to the faculty to research, write, and teach, while enjoying fully the First Amendment freedom of speech.”

GW Endowment Reaches $1 Billion

GW’s endowment crossed the $1-billion threshold in December, allowing the University to become the first institution of higher education in the nation’s capital to reach the mark. The endowment has grown nearly $800 million since President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg joined the University in 1988. “It is a source of tremendous pride that this milestone has been achieved on our watch,” says Charles T. Manatt, JD ’62, chairman of the GW Board of Trustees.

In 1988, the University’s endowment stood at approximately $200 million.

“This is a significant achievement for the University and everyone who has worked so hard to build this financial foundation, including Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz, Board Chairman Charles T. Manatt, current and former Investment Committee Chairs Russ Ramsey and Mike Curzan, and a very dedicated Board of Trustees,” Trachtenberg says. “Going forward, our success will depend on our ability to provide superior educational opportunities, attract world-class faculty, and continue to provide state-of-the-art technology and a first-class living and learning environment. Historically, GW has relied heavily on tuition. But, tuition won’t get us there now. We will need to rely more on endowment. We are at the point where we can applaud our success to date, while emphasizing the need to keep driving forward on all fronts. Only a firm financial foundation will allow the University to remain flexible and first rate.”

The recent surge in GW’s endowment comes predominantly from investment gains, as well as gifts. During the 2006 fiscal year (July 1, 2005-June 30, 2006) the GW endowment produced a 19.7 percent return, investment earnings of $159 million, and received more than $20 million in gifts and other transfers, bringing its total market value to $963.6 million as of June 30, 2006. GW’s endowment increased by more than $55 million net of spending in the first six months of the 2007 fiscal year, resulting in its current $1 billion-plus market value.

For all of its successes, GW still lags behind peer institutions in two important measures: endowment funds per student and the percentage of operating budget financed by endowment funds.

In the past three years the market value of GW’s endowment has increased by more than $325 million. During that timeframe, nearly $110 million has been distributed from the endowment to support University activities. Endowment distributions provide support for scholarships, fellowships, academic and research programs, libraries, and other endowed programs.

The growth of the University endowment benefits current and future GW students. An annual payout from the GW endowment frees up other funds to support endeavors including academics and student life. In 2004 a 5 percent payout from the endowment provided the University budget with $34.3 million. The 5 percent payout budgeted for fiscal year 2007 will provide GW $46.3 million.

The investment committee of GW’s Board of Trustees managed the University’s endowment from 1996 to 2003, but it became clear that a dedicated, full-time staff was required. In April 2003 Donald Lindsey was hired as the University’s first chief investment officer. Lindsey worked with the Board of Trustees investment committee to retool the asset allocation of GW’s endowment, reducing holdings in traditional asset classes such as real estate, U.S. stocks, bonds, and cash, while diversifying into private equity, commodities, and hedge funds. In the three-year period leading up to Dec. 31, 2006, the GW endowment generated a net annual return of 17.8 percent, significantly outperforming the composite benchmark return of 11.7 percent.

Presidential Views on Global Affairs

Former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter

All photos by Jessica McConnell

Three national leaders spoke about issues in the Middle East and the crucial roles their countries play in the current international climate during separate visits to GW in September and March.

Before a packed audience at GW’s Dorothy Betts Marvin Theatre on Sept. 22, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf outlined the ways in which his administration has transformed the country to what he calls a “modern, progressive society” dedicated to helping the free world fight terrorism.

Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, also highlighted international relationships in his Sept. 26 speech at the Jack Morton Auditorium by focusing on Afghan-U.S. commerce and the embattled nation’s economic challenges and opportunities.

And former U.S. President Jimmy Carter drew a packed audience to Lisner Auditorium on March 8 to discuss his controversial book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, underscored the necessity of increasing debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the urgency of reinstating peace talks.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf

In Partnership Project, GW Plans New Residence Hall

Construction on GW’s 474-bed undergraduate residence hall begins this summer.

GW and D.C. Public Schools are celebrating the approval of a joint Planned Unit Development that allows GW to build a new 474-bed undergraduate residence hall on the Foggy Bottom Campus.

The project—which was approved by the D.C. Zoning Commission in November—expands upon the existing programmatic partnership between GW and School Without Walls, a nontraditional D.C. public high school that is located on G Street within the Foggy Bottom Campus.

Under the GW/DCPS agreement, GW will purchase from DCPS a small parcel of land fronting F Street as well as development rights generated through rezoning the GW and DCPS parcels, for a sum of approximately $12 million.

GW will combine the newly acquired land with its adjacent tennis courts to build an approximately 200,000 square foot residence hall which will feature apartment-style units and accommodate approximately 178 vehicles in an underground parking garage. SWW will use the funds from GW, and additional funds allocated by DCPS, to modernize the existing SWW building, and build an addition that offers additional classrooms, a media center, and a rooftop terrace.

Both projects are scheduled to begin in 2007 and be completed in 2009.

“The commission’s decision is a significant milestone for the School Without Walls and GW, bringing much needed renovation to a public high school building that sorely needs it while allowing the development of new on-campus housing for the University. GW’s partnership with the school and DCPS is truly a model for public private partnerships in the District. Further, GW’s new residence hall will help us continue to meet on-campus housing requirements, as well as provide students with apartment-style housing options,” says GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.

GW and School Without Walls have worked together on other projects over the past two decades, including sharing classroom space and providing internships for GW’s education students.

GW’s 20-Year Foggy Bottom Campus Plan Approved

The former GW Hospital site, called Square 54, is slated for a mixed-use project of apartments, shops, and office space.

The D.C. Zoning Commission in March unanimously approved GW’s 20-year Campus Plan, which sets forth a vision for the future of the Foggy Bottom Campus in the context of its surrounding neighborhoods.

The proposal, which is the culmination of nearly two years of community-based planning, employs a “Grow Up, Not Out” strategy aimed at concentrating development at the core of GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus. It allows for the construction of new University academic facilities, additional undergraduate student housing, and a dynamic I Street retail corridor, as well as enhancements to streetscapes and open spaces.

“I offer sincere thanks to the more than 100 neighbors, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and civic and business leaders who provided testimony in support of the plan, to all community members who participated in the two-year planning process, and to the D.C. Office of Planning and other city agencies involved in this effort,” GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg says. “The collaboration of these stakeholders greatly contributed to the well-reasoned and comprehensive Campus Plan presented by GW.”

The plan also provides several community and District-wide amenities, including the implementation of environmentally sensitive planning and design principles, and the preservation of historic resources through a proposed historic district—the first of its kind for a D.C. university. In addition, the University has agreed to maintain existing caps on campus student and faculty/staff populations and has committed to new limitations on the acquisition and future use of off-campus properties.

The Campus Plan sets forth a vision for the future of the Foggy Bottom Campus, including enhancing the academic heart of the campus. This is a rendering of H Street and Gelman Library.

“Students are very excited about the future enhancements, especially the planned science center, which will result from this Campus Plan,” says Gina Fernandes, a junior and GW Student Association vice president for community affairs. “The students have been actively engaged in the planning process—attending community meetings and the hearings and providing testimony—because we are investing in the future of the University.”

Also before the Zoning Commission is GW’s proposal for redevelopment of Square 54, the former GW Hospital site, as a mixed-use “town center” with office, residential, and retail. The 2.6-acre vacant lot is slated to include 85,000 square feet of retail space including a grocery store, approximately 330 apartments, and 440,000 square feet of office space.

The Square 54 project received preliminary approval from the D.C. Zoning Commission in March and will go to the National Capital Planning Commission in May for review and comment with respect to issues related to federal interests. It will then be scheduled for final Zoning Commission action.

The Campus Plan and Square 54—along with the recently approved joint D.C. Public Schools/GW School Without Walls project—are all part of the University’s integrated campus development strategy aimed at furthering GW as a world-class research University in the nation’s capital. For more information, visit

GW Targets $4.5 Million Toward Academic Excellence

The new year started on an exciting note at GW, with the University announcing the selection of eight new academic signature programs and five strategic initiatives earmarked to receive substantial funding during the next several years, thanks to a Board of Trustees-approved $4.5 million special endowment payout. GW’s latest round of targeted program investment comes on the heels of a highly successful, multiyear initiative launched in 2003 providing valuable support to seven signature programs.

Part of the University’s Strategic Plan for Academic Excellence, the funding aims to “catapult GW to a new level,” says Donald R. Lehman, executive vice president for academic affairs, who oversaw the rigorous selection process. “We received an outstanding group of proposals from across the disciplines,” he says. “In all evaluations, the bulk of the emphasis was placed on whether the proposed investment would improve educational quality and enhance research in areas meaningful to our faculty and students and of importance to society, while enhancing the University’s prestige and reputation.” All candidates were also required to identify substantial matching funds from their own budgets.

Thirteen proposals emerged victorious—eight submitted by faculty members and five directly by the deans. The winning deans’ proposals—funded as strategic initiatives—will pump additional funds into the University Writing Program, language instruction, international initiatives, a new state-of-the-art electronic classroom in GW’s Gelman Library, and podcasting. The eight selected faculty proposals—coined the new signature programs—are Discovering and Interpreting the Diversity of Life, Urban Inequality, Systems Biology, Doctoral Study in Special Education, Institute for Corporate Responsibility, Institute for Integrating Statistics in Decision Sciences, Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering, and High Performance Computing Technology and Applications.

The deans’ strategic initiatives spotlight some of the hottest topics in academia today. A dozen GW classrooms are now podcast enabled through Colonial Cast, sponsored by GW’s Academic Technologies in conjunction with Apple Computer’s iTunes U, which provides students with access to lectures and related videos 24/7 on their iPods, MP3 players, and personal computers. GW is poised to catapult to the forefront of foreign language instruction through Columbian College of Arts and Sciences’ language instruction initiative. Funds will help bolster language instruction at GW by creating a technology-based language center and adding 15 foreign language faculty members specializing in Arabic, Chinese, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, and American Sign Language. “High-level foreign language instruction is critical to providing a top-notch undergraduate education at GW as a global university delivering core competencies,” Lehman says.

International initiatives also received top billing among endowment-funded programs, with the Elliott School of International Affairs receiving money to strengthen graduate education, research, engagement, and advancement. The funds also will support the launch of two new research institutes—focused on the Middle East and on international security and conflict—and a signature lecture series analyzing topics such as the future of democracy.

Funding devoted to the new signature programs will help establish and advance a number of innovative centers and institutes at GW, including the Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering, the Institute for Corporate Responsibility, the Institute for Integrating Statistics in Decision Sciences, and the Institute for Massively Parallel Applications and Computing Technology, focusing on high-performance computing.

This year, $2.4 million of the special endowment funds will be allocated, shored up by matching funds of nearly $1.9 million. The remaining $2.1 million will be targeted toward strategic hires of senior faculty members beginning in the fall. “Selective hiring of top faculty in our areas of strength will add stature, depth, and visibility to our programs,” Lehman says.

In the meantime, GW’s seven original signature programs, now in their fifth year of funding, are flourishing. To date, GW has invested more than $7.8 million in the programs, including nearly $2.3 million this year alone. “The funding has had a tremendous impact,” says Lehman, noting that the targeted programs have seen substantial increases in outside research funding, improved student quality and selectivity, and enhanced educational and research opportunities for students.

“Selective excellence is ultimately about building prestige and propelling GW into the ranks of top-tier research institutions,” Lehman explains. “These types of high-impact investments pay off, as shown by the strength of our seven original signature programs. Thanks to the many things we’ve accomplished over the past 20 years under President Trachtenberg, we’re poised to become one of the nation’s preeminent research universities. It’s an exciting time for GW.”

Jamie L. Freedman

Jessica McConnell

Standing Strong For Virginia Tech

With heavy hearts, the GW community came together for a candlelight vigil to show support for Virginia Tech and mourn the more than 30 victims of the tragic campus shootings. Some students shared stories of friends or loved ones who attend the university in Blacksburg, Va. Others reflected on the tragedy or offered prayers. Nearly 400 people gathered at the vigil in Kogan Plaza on April 17, the flickering candlelight illuminating the colors of their clothing into a solid sea of maroon and orange.

Historical Bank Records Move to GW

Thick, dusty books hold the financial statements of some of Washington’s key historical players, including 23 presidents. The Riggs Bank archives were donated to Gelman Library from the PNC Financial Services Group and will be on display through May.

Photos by Jessica McConnell

Some of the country’s most prominent and patriotic figures, including Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, and Susan B. Anthony, will have their penny-by-penny financial records preserved in a new collection at Gelman Library.

The PNC Financial Services Group Inc. donated the Riggs Bank archives—valued at $5.2 million—to GW last fall to ensure the records will be well cared for and accessible to future generations.

The thick, deteriorating leather-bound books date from the early 1800s to the 1940s and include the ledgers of 23 presidents, numerous congressmen, and other notable American personas, such as antebellum statesman Daniel Webster and Red Cross organizer Clara Barton.

The archives are on formal display at the library through May.

Handwritten but in good condition, the records expand the University’s existing collections on Washington, D.C.’s political, economic, social, and cultural history.

“The research potential provided by these records will be invaluable to any scholar interested in [the city’s] commercial history,” says Michael N. Harreld, PNC Bank regional president.

The books will be part of the library’s Washingtonia collection, which includes records from Riggs Bank, National Bank of Washington, Farmers and Mechanics Bank, Lincoln National Bank, and Washington Loan & Trust. It documents the day-to-day operations of the institutions and their influence on the economic life of the nation’s capital.

Phil Raino, exhibits specialist at the library, says the newest set of archives have been transferred from the bank’s D.C. office to the library in special acid-free paper to preserve the integrity of the pieces. The PNC Foundation gave the library $125,000 to assist in the move, preparation, and installation of the gift.

While the collection may appear to be dusty old books, they still play a major role in piecing together a part of the country’s past. Just don’t expect any scandals.

“There’s nothing overly revealing,” Raino says.

Alumna Marguerite Barratt Named Columbian College Dean

Jessica McConnell

A GW alumna is returning to the campus this summer as head of the University’s academic cornerstone. Dr. Marguerite Barratt, M.Phil ’78, will become dean of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences on Aug. 1, replacing Interim Dean Diana Lipscomb.

Barratt, an accomplished expert on developmental psychology, is currently the deputy director of clinical research policy analysis and coordination at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. As dean, she hopes to build onto the college’s already solid foundation, she says.

“GW’s prominence as a magnet for public policy learning and research and its record of training students for professional work, along with its notable faculty, are among the reasons I am eager to join this preeminent institution,” Barratt says.

Prior to her post at NIH, Barratt was division director for behavioral and cognitive sciences at the National Science Foundation, where she also served as the human subjects research officer. A leader in both public service and the classroom, Barratt will bring 30 years of research and teaching experience to GW in the parent-child interaction area, with a focus on naturalistic field work and attention to specialized populations.

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg says Barratt’s extensive experience in research, teaching, fundraising, and management will “allow the school to continue to grow in prominence in its research and education mission…as well as capitalize on GW’s numerous academic strengths with the arts and sciences.”

The Columbian College is made up of 42 departments and programs, encompassing the humanities, sciences, mathematics, fine arts, and social sciences.

Jazz Band Showcases That Swing

Jessica McConnell

From a small basement classroom on GW’s campus, the sound of blaring horns, chirping piano keys, and bellowing bass combine classic 1930s jazz with college cool.

“Immerse yourself in it,” director James Levy, B.Mus. ’83, tells the group. “Let it evolve.”

Like its foot-tapping jam sessions, King James and the Serfs of Swing—GW’s 13-piece student jazz band—has blended into the campus community’s musical scene over the past decade. Now they’re ready to take center stage.

In April, the group performed at Blues Alley, the legendary Washington jazz club that has hosted American music icons over the past 40 years like Eva Cassidy and Dizzy Gillespie. The gig, coupled in the same month with an all-day, outdoor “Big Band Jam” on the National Mall, was an effort by Blues Alley’s nonprofit organization to showcase talented youth. GW was one of nine universities from around the nation that participated.

With roots firmly planted in the timeless sounds of 1930s jazz, King James and the Serfs of Swing was a natural choice for the shows, says Harry Schnipper, executive director of Blues Alley.

“GW has yet to be platformed as a major contributor to Washington, D.C., jazz,” Schnipper says. “We feel the time is right to raise the level.”

While performing at Blues Alley is considered a big time opportunity for GW’s band, the group has long had a tradition of jamming out at campus concerts and special events.

“King” Levy, an adjunct assistant professor who took over the University’s jazz band and formed the Serfs in 1991, says the group’s ability to improvise and blend their sounds sets them apart from the sheet-music type.

“Jazz is based largely on playing by ear. It’s interactive,” Levy says. “There are large spaces in the middle of songs that they have to create as a group. That’s when they find how they fit in.”

Levy is no stranger to swing, either. He began playing music professionally at age 16 and has presented several of his music compositions at the National Cathedral. As a faculty member since 1984, Levy started the Department of Music’s jazz program and is the pianist in the GW Faculty Jazz Quintet, a group that hosts jazz jam session every Friday on campus.

This past spring, Levy prepared the Serfs with practice, practice, practice to transition from thumping band sessions in a crowded basement classroom to the spotlight performance on a world-renowned stage.

The audition-only group, which is made up mostly of nonmusic majors, performs with an emphasis on Count Basie and Duke Ellington’s styles. And like Washington, D.C., native Ellington, the band took on a name with nobility in the title.

After all, when they play, they feel a bit like royalty.

“This isn’t just about the performance, but about the growth we’ve made to get there,” says vocalist and GW junior Arielle Goodman. Playing at Blues Alley was “the cherry on top,” she says.

Jaime Ciavarra

A ‘Signature of Loudoun’

The Loudoun County Economic Department Design Cabinet awarded GW’s first building at the Virginia Campus a “Signature of Loudoun” Design Excellence Award. The design program identifies and honors those structures, interiors, places, and details that, together, make Loudoun County unlike any other. There were nine winners in six categories. Award certificates and posters of the winning designs were presented to President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg and to the primary architect, Philip Esocoff.

Colonials in Congress

With a campus in the heart of the nation’s capital, GW has always attracted students interested in politics. It should come as no surprise then that 14 alumni have returned to Washington, D.C., this year as members of the U.S. Congress. From delegate of a U.S. territory to Senate majority leader, these officials are making an impact on a global scale. Here is the impressive list of our congressional leaders:

Rep. Jason Altmire, MHSA ’98, (D-Dist. 4) of Pennsylvania

Rep. Eric Cantor, BA ’85, (R-Dist. 7) of Virginia

Del. Donna Christensen, MD ’70, (D) of the U.S. Virgin Islands

Sen. Kent Conrad, MBA ’75, (D) of North Dakota

Rep. John Duncan, JD ’73, (R-Dist. 2) of Tennessee

Sen. Michael Enzi, BBA ’66, (R) of Wyoming

Sen. Daniel Inouye, JD ’52, (D) of Hawaii

Rep. Steve Israel, BA ’81, (D-Dist. 2) of New York

Rep. Sam Johnson, MSIA ’74, (R-Dist. 3) of Texas

Rep. Tim Mahoney, MBA ’83, (D-Dist. 16) of Florida

Rep. Jim Ramstad, JD ’73, (R-Dist. 3) of Minnesota

Sen. Harry Reid, JD ’64, (D) of Nevada

Rep. Cliff Stearns, BS ’63, (R-Dist. 6) of Florida

Rep. Robert Wexler, JD ’85, (D-Dist. 19) of Florida

Nurturing the Flock

Jessica McConnell

GW’s urban campus is now home to a few rare birds. Above, President Trachtenberg jests alongside “The Raven,” a nearly 6-foot tall, 500-pound stone bird statue that sits outside Old Main Building on F Street. Dedicated on Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday, the smooth black figure is the most recent addition to GW’s four avian landmarks.

Want to find the other feathered friends? Stroll past the hawk on the southeast corner of University Yard; gander at the hawk on the Mount Vernon Campus in front of Eckles Library; and pause near the eagle, memorializing 9/11, on Eye Street near the West End apartment building.

Students say the public art helps punctuate the campus.

“[GW] is identified not just by the buildings we enter, but by the landmarks we pass along our way,” Junior Maggie Desmond said at the bird’s dedication.

The sculptures, created by Martha’s Vineyard-based artist Benjamin Cabot, were purchased and installed at the University over the past six years.

VA Campus Hosts High Schoolers

Faculty members of the GW Virginia Campus led approximately 120 high school students from Loudoun County Public High Schools through nine workshops during the campus’ first Engineering and Technology Day to illustrate different careers.

The workshops included building a 20-foot modular bridge, digitizing a crash test dummy, creating an electrical circuit, testing driving skills, and tracking computer hackers. Participants also experimented with computer animating and digital media, experienced a simulated earthquake, learned how technology contributes to crisis management, and learned how to separate fact from fabrication during accident investigation.

The event was so successful that it will now occur annually.

Re-spoutin’ the Fountain

Jessica McConnell

More than a thousand students celebrated the arrival of spring during Fountain Day on the Mount Vernon Campus, an annual event that spotlights live music, tasty food, and the traditional re-start of the campus’ water-flowing, four-tiered fountain.

This year’s theme, “Turning on Awareness,” was centered on political and environmental issues championed by GW’s student groups. Activities included a tree planting sponsored by Green GW, voter registration sponsored by the College Democrats and College Republicans, and a mock refugee camp sponsored by GW STAND.

In between T-shirt dyeing and Henna tattoo stations, students rocked out to performances by Ben Kweller, Derek James, and Jukebox the Ghost, a GW student band. The free event, which was held April 28, has been a traditional spring kick-off since 1999.