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Development and Alumni Relations

Record Levels of Philanthropic Support Help GW Reach New Heights

Thanks to the generosity of more than 22,000 donors, GW received a record $89 million —$98 million when the whole of the $10 million matching pledge of the Smith and Kogod families is included—in gifts and commitments during the 2008 fiscal year. The total raised surpasses the previous year’s record high of $81 million. The Smith and Kogod families’ unprecedented gift to renovate the Charles E. Smith Center (see story below) is a challenge to constituents and will be paid as it is matched.

In addition, 34 individual endowments were created through gifts and pledges totaling $22 million, bringing the total number of named endowed funds to nearly 1,100. Annual giving, meanwhile, increased to $5.8 million from 19,600 donors, compared to the $5 million raised the previous year from 18,800 donors.

Building a lifelong and worldwide community among alumni is a cornerstone of Steven Knapp’s presidency. During fiscal year 2008, a year in which 17,210 GW graduates gave nearly $33 million to their alma mater, President Knapp launched an extensive inaugural tour to engage alumni. The tour took him to more than a dozen cities around the world.

Looking ahead, the GW Board of Trustees has approved a plan to address tuition costs and ensure affordability at GW. Central to this plan is the University’s goal to quadruple fundraising for student aid from $10 million to $40 million annually within five years.

Celebrating the Smith and Kogod Leadership and Generosity

Left to right: GW Trustee Chairman W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81; Robert P. Kogod; Elizabeth Smith; Max Smith (in front); Trustee David Bruce Smith, BA ’79; Robert H. Smith; Clarice Smith, BA ’76, MFA ’79; Alexandra Smith; and President Steven Knapp

GW recognized the extraordinary philanthropy of the Smith and Kogod families with a top-tier celebration to thank them for committing $10 million toward the Charles E. Smith Center renovation.

During an elegant evening of music and candle-lit dining on University Yard, GW Board of Trustees Chair W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, and President Steven Knapp led the festivities to honor the Robert H. Smith and Charles E. Smith Family Foundations and Robert P. and Arlene R. Kogod.

“The [transformed] Charles E. Smith Center will pump new energy into GW ... and will reflect the values and ideals of its namesake,” said President Knapp, who spoke to a crowd of more than 150 distinguished guests, including former Virginia Gov. and Senator-elect Mark Warner, BA ’77, Hon. DPS ’03; and GW basketball star Sarah-Jo Lawrence, BA ’08—both of whom also delivered remarks.

The building was named for the late Charles E. Smith, HON. DPS ’79, a GW trustee who provided the initial gift to build the center in 1975. His children, who include members of the Smith and Kogod families, are continuing his spirit of philanthropy.

“Our family has been deeply involved in this University for three generations, and very proudly so,” said Robert H. Smith, son of Charles E. Smith and a GW trustee emeritus. “Our family believes that this University’s leadership role in the vibrancy of our nation’s capital would be enhanced by a totally renovated Charles E. Smith Center.”

From the GWAA President

Richard Crespin, BA ’93

Dear Fellow Colonials,

In early August, I convened your GW Alumni Association Board of Directors in Washington, D.C., for our annual planning retreat. As we discussed our goals and ideas, I was struck by the wealth of talent, energy, and enthusiasm representing our worldwide alumni community. Our passionate GWAA Board members give back to their alma mater in myriad ways, in large part because they value their association with the GW community.

We want all alumni to find value in staying connected to the alumni community, and we want your lives to be richer and more fulfilling as a result. As I’ve covered in past columns, we laid out three goals intended to drive that experience: Lifetime Engagement, Gathering a Voice, and Building a Culture of Philanthropy. These goals are interdependent. We can’t fully succeed in any one without the others. The first two goals are about providing greater opportunities for alumni. Let me elaborate on the third goal.

Building a Culture of Philanthropy: As an association, we know fulfilling the first two goals will lead naturally to Building a Culture of Philanthropy, as alumni will be inspired to remain connected and give back by the value they receive. We are committed to providing you with meaningful opportunities to engage in our worldwide community throughout your lives and to institutionalizing a two-way dialogue between alumni and your alma mater. As we enhance our efforts, we believe that more alumni will find value in being active members of the GW community. In this culture, it will be natural for alumni to give back to the University.

Giving back is not just about giving money. It is about true philanthropy, which means giving of self, as well as giving money. Each month, countless alumni volunteer on behalf of GW. Whether you provide career advice to a student or fellow graduate, interview prospective students, help plan an event, or represent your class, school, club, or region on a committee, your service is greatly valued.

Nearly 20 years ago I arrived in Foggy Bottom as an eager freshman. During my time at GW, I played a leading role in student government, participated in model United Nations, interned on Capitol Hill, and was mentored by former ambassadors at the Elliott School of International Affairs. The support of previous generations of Colonials helped to make my GW years the formative experiences of my life.

In return, I provide financial support to my alma mater, designating my gift to the President’s Fund for Excellence, which funds the University’s most pressing needs. You can designate your gift to any area meaningful to you, from scholarships to schools, athletics, libraries, student organizations, and more.

The University depends on continuing alumni support. Tuition revenue currently funds 86 percent of all financial aid. Alumni giving is critical to support alumni-in-the-making: our current and future students.

Think back upon your own GW experience: the friends you made, the groups you joined, the practical knowledge you gained, and the opportunities you enjoyed. At the same time, know that we are working to enrich the alumni experience for you and for future alumni. With that in mind, I challenge you to get involved and support current and future generations of GW students.

Check out volunteer opportunities at Make a gift at Share your ideas by e-mailing us at It’s our University and our time to step up to the plate.

Richard Crespin, BA ’93
President, GW Alumni Association, 2007-09

Alumnus’ Estate Leaves $900,000 to Business School

Colonial Parking co-founder Sergius Gambal, BA ’52, has left nearly $900,000 to the School of Business through a bequest from his estate. The gift caps more than four decades of generosity to the University from Gambal, who died in October 2007.

“Sergius Gambal’s pride in his alma mater was apparent in so many ways, including using the moniker of GW’s athletic teams as the name of his parking company,” says Susan Phillips, dean of the School of Business. “This gift will sustain his legacy to GW and to the community. We are grateful for Mr. Gambal’s generosity.”

The bequest will support the business school’s Dean’s Fund and the work of the Lindner-Gambal Professorship in Business Ethics at the Institute for Corporate Responsibility. The professorship was created in 2005 and named for Gambal and his longtime business partner and fellow GW alumnus Thaddeus Lindner, BA ’51, Hon. DPS ’94.

Gambal and Lindner were still undergraduates when they joined forces to create Colonial Parking in 1948. What started as an unpaved lot charging 30 cents a day at 25th and E Streets has since grown into an operation that now parks more than 50,000 vehicles a day throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, including at the National Institutes of Health, L’Enfant Plaza, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The Lindner-Gambal Professorship was established through the support of Gambal’s business colleague A. James Clark, CEO of Clark Enterprises, with a matching gift from the University. Clark saw the endowed chair as a way to honor Lindner and Gambal’s commitment to honesty and integrity in business. Timothy L. Fort, one of the world’s leading business ethics scholars and director of GW’s Institute for Corporate Responsibility, currently occupies the professorship.

Parents Give $300,000 to Create Business Plan Competition

Annette and Richard Scott

A student competition to encourage creative enterprise has been established by health care entrepreneur Richard Scott and his wife, Annette, through a $300,000 gift. The Annette and Richard Scott Business Plan Competition will promote the development of marketable ventures among students looking to create a business or develop a new initiative. The first competition will be held this spring and will be managed by the GW’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Awards include $20,000 to help fund the winning business plan.

“Speaking from experience, I know how difficult it can be to finance a start-up company,” says Richard Scott, founder, chairman, and CEO of Richard L. Scott Investments LLC, and co-founder and chairman of Solantic LLC, an operator of urgent care centers in Florida. “Ann and I are pleased to have the opportunity, through this competition, to award critical seed money to jumpstart new business ventures.”

The Scotts, along with their daughter, Allison Marie Guimard, BBA ’05, will help judge the inaugural competition. Guimard is the founder and president of Alijor, an online health care Web community based in California. “We’re a family of innovators,” Richard Scott says. “We understand that the spirit of philanthropy is just as important as the spirit of originality.”

The two-round competition, which is open to all GW undergraduate and graduate students, will include the submission of a written business plan and a presentation to a panel of judges comprising investors and business executives. Participants will be given the opportunity to network with and learn from the judges. Awards will be based on the written and oral presentations, as well as the viability of the proposed company.

John Rollins, professor of entrepreneurship at the School of Business, will direct the competition. A serial entrepreneur for more than 30 years before making the leap to academia in 2000, Rollins is looking forward to encouraging the creative talents of the University’s budding student entrepreneurs.

“The award package that Ann and Rick Scott are providing is a wonderful incentive, particularly for those whose financial means would make it difficult to start and build a business,” Rollins says. “Rick, whose father was a truck driver and whose mother ironed clothes to help make ends meet, knows full well how challenging and fulfilling entrepreneurship can be, and we appreciate what he and Ann are doing for our students.”

For more information about the Scott Business Plan Competition, contact John Rollins at e-mail

Alumni Weekend 2008 Draws More Than 2,300

To view more photos from Alumni Weekend, visit

Rita Yurow

More than 2,300 alumni, students, and friends attended events on GW’s Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses during Alumni Weekend 2008. The University hosted more than 120 events Sept. 25-28, featuring such prominent entertainers and newsmakers as:

• Actress Kerry Washington, BA ’98,

• Television news host Bill O’Reilly,

• Musician Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul, and Mary, and

• Actor Rainn Wilson from The Office

Save the date for Alumni Weekend 2009—Thursday, Oct. 1, through Sunday, Oct. 4! Reunion classes for Alumni Weekend 2009 are 2004, 1999, 1989, 1984, 1970-1979, and 1959. For more information and updates, visit

$1.6 Million Gift-In-Kind Establishes Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Peg Barratt (left), Midge Smith, and GW President Steven Knapp

Nationally acclaimed evaluation expert M. F. “Midge” Smith has provided a $1.6 million in-kind gift to establish the Midge Smith Center for Evaluation Effectiveness at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. The center is devoted to using evaluation knowledge and best practices to enhance program performance in the public and nonprofit sectors. The center also will house The Evaluators’ Institute (TEI), an internationally recognized organization founded in 1995 by Smith with leaders in program evaluation.

“The new center will continue to build on the excellence of TEI’s programs and is meant to enhance our ability to meet longer-term interests in research, education, and outreach,” says Smith,” who has been named GW research professor of public policy and public administration and associate director of the center. “The prestige, location, and research capabilities make GW an ideal fit for TEI.”

The goal of the center is to be the premier resource in developing and facilitating use of evaluation knowledge. Its creation further advances GW’s role as one of the top education and research institutions in the country.

“Having both Smith and the center at GW will greatly enrich the University’s graduate-level education and significantly increase our outreach to public and nonprofit agencies with evaluation programs tailored for education, social services, criminal justice, and other fields,” says Peg Barratt, dean of GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and professor of psychology.

A reception honoring Midge Smith’s generosity and the founding of the center was hosted by President Steven Knapp last summer.

GW Honors 7 Alumni With Achievement Awards

From left to right: Scott Amey, MS ’75; Kerry Washington, BA ’98; Rodolfo Perecin Mareno, BA ’05; John Safer, BA ’47; GW President Steven Knapp; Craig DeAtley, BS ’75; Julie S. Lee, MS ’05; GW Board of Trustees Chairman W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81; and Clifford Kendall, MBA ’65.

Dave Scavone

GW President Steven Knapp and The George Washington Alumni Association honored the 2008 recipients of the Distinguished and Recent Alumni Achievement Awards and the inaugural Presidential Alumni Award at a ceremony during Alumni Weekend on Sept. 25, 2008. Seven alumni received awards.

The inaugural Presidential Alumni Award recipient is Clifford M. Kendall, MBA ’65, co-founder of Computer Data Systems Inc.

The recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award are W. Scott Amey, MS ’75, president and chief executive officer of Amyx Inc; Craig A. DeAtley, BS ’75, director of the Institute for Public Health Emergency Readiness at Washington Hospital Center; and John Safer, BA ’47, an internationally renowned sculptor and a successful real estate and banking entrepreneur.

This year’s recipients of the Recent Alumni Achievement Award are Julie S. Lee, MS ’05, president and chief executive officer of Access Systems Inc.; Rodolfo Perecin Mareno, BA ’05, founder and chief executive officer of the Inter-American Development Fund (Fondo Interamericano de Desarrollo); and Kerry Washington, BA ’98, multi-award winning actress and performing arts professional.

Alumni Achievement Award recipients are recognized for the lasting impact they have made on society though outstanding professional, voluntary, or philanthropic accomplishments. The Presidential Alumni Award, presented for the first time this year, is given in recognition of a graduate for his or her professional achievement, service to the University, and public leadership, all of which reflect honor on The George Washington University.