GW Magazine nameplate
Development and Alumni Relations

Donors Transforming Student Experience

Charles E. Smith Center Renovations Underway

Rendering of the transformed Charles E. Smith Center

Architectural concept drawings by Gensler

From the moment students arrive on campus to the day they don their caps and gowns, the Charles E. Smith Center is a key part of their university experience. And for the extended community of alumni, parents, faculty, and friends, the facility has become a venue for enjoying Division I sports, concerts, and performances by the nation’s top entertainers.

Now, thanks to the $10 million challenge commitment by the Robert H. Smith and Charles E. Smith Family Foundations and Robert P. and Arlene R. Kogod—combined with the $4.5 million contributed to date in support of the challenge—the facility is being transformed into a signature building in the heart of the Foggy Bottom Campus.

“The Charles E. Smith Center has always been a source of pride to our family because it promotes healthy minds and bodies, as well as the spirit of community, which were hallmarks of my father’s life and work,” says Robert H. Smith, GW trustee emeritus and son of the late Charles E. Smith. “This transformational renovation furthers my father’s original vision and speaks to our commitment to GW and its future success.”

The late Charles E. Smith, Hon. DPS ’79, a GW trustee, provided the initial gift to build the facility in 1975. His children and grandchildren, all members of the Smith and Kogod families, are continuing his spirit of philanthropy.

Supporting the Challenge

The University is in the midst of a $25 million fundraising effort to support the renovation of the Charles E. Smith Center. In addition to the Smith and Kogod families, major donors include the David and Abbie Friedman Family Foundation—a “hall of fame” will be named in recognition of this gift; GW trustee emeritus Thaddeus Lindner, BA ’51, HON. DPS ’94; GW trustee Mark V. Hughes, BA ’69, MS ’77, and Susan Dekelboum Hughes; and I. Allan From, BBA ’72, who is also a trustee.

“As a trustee, it is my job to ensure that the student experience at GW is enriched both in and outside of the classroom,” From says. “The Charles E. Smith Center offers so much to our entire community as a venue for sports, concerts, information fairs, convocations, and many other special events. My support for the renovation reflects my pride in my alma mater and my strong commitment to GW’s future success.”

Construction Progress

The renovated natatorium, one of many naming opportunities

The renovation is a three-phase process and work on the first two phases is currently underway. The majority of the interior transformation of the Charles E. Smith Center will be completed this summer so that demolition and construction will not interfere with activities typical of the academic year. This work is transforming the President’s Club, natatorium, locker areas, aerobic training, and weight room facilities. Other areas being renovated include the arena and third floor Athletic Director’s Club. Build-out of the new Colonials Club, student-athlete academic center, and additional storage space for Charles E. Smith Center operations are also scheduled for this summer.

Phase three construction will add a new concession concourse and transform the exterior façades. Upgraded areas are the VIP and student entrances, box office, the 22nd Street entry, and the daily entrance at 22nd and G streets. Phase three is scheduled to be completed by early 2011.

For information about naming opportunities and other ways to support the Charles E. Smith Center initiative, visit and click on Giving Opportunities; or contact Daniel Rocha, executive director of Athletics Development, at 202-994-9366 or

Six Colonials Receive 2009 Distinguished Alumni Service Awards

(From left) Ramona Stoltz, BA ’96; Rex Holloway, MHSA ’88; Gerald Rosen, JD ’79; Peter Konwerski, BA ’91, MA ’94, EdD ’97; President Steven Knapp; Michael Shehadi, MBA ’80; Kerry Kuhn, BA ’70, MD ’73, GME ’77

The George Washington Alumni Association honored six GW graduates with Distinguished Alumni Service Awards April 23 at a ceremony in GW’s City View Room at 1957 E St.

The Distinguished Alumni Service Award is presented to alumni who advance GW’s mission through dedicated volunteer efforts in support of its programs, thereby ensuring the University’s impact on our community and future generations of students. The Jane Lingo Distinguished Alumni Service Award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who also is a GW graduate and who consistently advances the University’s mission through dedicated volunteer efforts in support of its programs.

The 2009 Distinguished Alumni Service Awards recipients are:

Rex Holloway, MHSA ’88, a business development executive for Health Inventures. Holloway is currently chair of GW’s Health Services Management and Leadership Alumni Association. He serves as a guest lecturer, conducts mock interviews for students, organizes major alumni events, and works with alumni to increase scholarship funding.

Kerry Kuhn, BA ’70, MD ’73, GME ’77, an obstetrician in Coral Springs, Fla. Kuhn is part of four generations of GW graduates. He became a charter member of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Dean’s Council in 2005 and, along with his wife, established the Kerry L. Kuhn Scientific Equipment Fund to provide scientific instruments for studies and research.

Gerald Rosen, JD ’79, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Rosen has been a member of the GW Law School’s Board of Advisors for eight years. He frequently appears as a guest speaker on school career panels and routinely hires GW Law students to serve as interns.

Michael T. Shehadi, MBA ’80, the retired president and CEO of Legum & Norman. Shehadi is an adjunct professor in the GW School of Business. He sits on the school’s Real Estate Advisory Board; he endowed the Shehadi Professorial Fellow in Real Estate Finance; and he advises the student-run Real Estate and Investment Development Organization.

Ramona Stoltz, BA ’96, a certified fund raising executive. Stoltz has provided more than 10 years of dedicated voluntary service to The Columbian Women of The George Washington University. She has served on the GW Alumni Association Board of Directors and was one of the founding members of the GW Women’s Leadership Conference.

The recipient of the Jane Lingo Distinguished Alumni Service Award is Peter Konwerski, BA ’91, MA ’94, EdD ’97, the associate vice president and chief administrative officer for GW’s Division of Student and Academic Support Services and a GW faculty member. Konwerski is a member of the Luther Rice Society and actively supports a number of cross-divisional initiatives through his service, work, and teaching.

Artist Carol Brown Goldberg, left, and Lenore Miller, MFA ’72, director and chief curator of GW’s University Art Galleries, lead a discussion at Adamar Fine Arts in the Wynwood Art District, Miami.

Art Basel Miami Beach: Donors Enjoy Exclusive Tour

In December, members of the Luther Rice Society and Friends of the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery received exclusive VIP access to Art Basel Miami Beach—the sister event to the famous art show in Basel, Switzerland. Attendees were treated to private tours of the Rubell Family Collection, the Margulies Collection, and the Museum of Contemporary Art at Goldman Warehouse, as well as viewings of the private collections of Phillip T. George, GME ’71, and his wife, Judith L. George, and Benjamin Huberman and Gisela Huberman, BA ’64, MA ’65, PhD ’70.

The Luther Rice Society recognizes donors who provide annual support to the University. The Friends of the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery recognizes the generosity of gallery patrons.

From The GWAA President

Dear Fellow Colonials,

Momentum. Ask me for one word that describes your GW Alumni Association today and that’s it.

When I attend an alumni event, step into a board meeting, connect with students, or network with alumni, I can sense the excitement about our current activities and future possibilities.

As I near the end of my term as GWAA president, I’m proud of the momentum we’ve built but am aware that more needs to be done. It all starts with your Alumni Association’s three goals: Enabling Lifetime Engagement, Gathering a Voice for Alumni, and Building a Culture of Philanthropy.

We have done well in Enabling Lifetime Engagement, thanks to additional resources provided by the association and the University. We have grown Alumni Weekend, expanded our regional and international outreach, developed more school-specific and special interest programming (such as our annual African-American reunion), focused more resources on expanding career services, created additional opportunities to interact with students, and continued to recognize our distinguished alumni. What’s next? Continue to expand our career services, international presence, and student outreach.

Gathering a Voice is more of a mixed bag. We have helped move alumni relations to the top of the University’s agenda, overhauled the alumni Web site, started a blog, expanded print and online communications, and built a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter. What can we improve? Better use of technology to encourage more two-way communication between alumni and GW, to build alumni community, and to capture your ideas.

Building a Culture of Philanthropy is a natural outcome of achieving our objectives on the first two goals. That said, we have committed to 100 percent giving at the GWAA Board level, grown our benefits and services to provide more value to alumni, and supported the rejuvenation of the Luther Rice Society. What else must be done? Encourage alumni to recognize the value in your GW experience and in giving back to current students.

As you can tell, I am excited about the future of your alumni association and our University. There is no one better to sustain the momentum than our GWAA President-Elect Laura Taddeucci Downs, BA ’92, MA ’95. Laura is incredibly passionate about GW and has a wealth of experience, as a former University employee and as a current GWAA Executive Committee member. I will officially pass the torch to Laura at our June board meeting, but I look forward to staying involved.

Identifying all the people who have helped me in the past few years is a column in and of itself, but I want to thank a few individuals. The University staff, in particular President Steven Knapp, Board of Trustees Chairman W. Russell Ramsey, BBA ’81, and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Development Adrienne Rulnick, have been incredibly supportive. My predecessor, Chris Young, BBA ’80, MAccy ’83, had the vision to focus our efforts around the three aforementioned goals. Our GWAA Board and Executive Committee have dedicated significant time and resources to making your association top notch.

But most importantly, I have to thank each and every one of you. You are the fuel that powers our alumni association. As always, I encourage you to stay involved and share your ideas by visiting or e-mailing

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

Tax-Free IRA Charitable Rollover is Back!

The federal government is preserving a key tax advantage for charitable giving. The IRS has extended until Dec. 31, 2009, legislation that allows a gift to GW from an IRA to count toward required minimum distributions and be excluded from gross income—in other words, a tax-free rollover.*

For an IRA gift to GW to qualify for benefits under this extension, the following criteria apply:

• A donor must be 70½ years or older at the time of the gift.
• Transfers must go directly from the IRA to GW.
• Total IRA giving cannot exceed $100,000 per year.
• The gift must be outright.

Contact the Planned Giving Office at 877-498-7590 or visit for more information on ways your planned gift can make a difference to the University and improve your financial outlook.

* Please seek the advice of your tax adviser, attorney, or financial planner to make certain a contemplated gift fits well into your overall circumstances and planning.

GW professor Martín Zysmilich and Dr. Willo Pequegnat, BA ’62, at Neko Harbour, Antarctica

Travel the Globe With GW

Looking for a fun and educational trip at a good value? Join your friends, family, fellow graduates, and GW faculty members for exciting adventures through the Alumni Travel Program!

Travel destinations for 2010 include: Singapore and Dubai, Provence, Barcelona, Peru, Vietnam and Cambodia, the Nile Valley and Red Sea, Australia and New Zealand, the Baltic Sea and Norwegian Fjords, Tanzania, and the Italian Lake District. For more information, visit

President’s Ball Honors Leadership Donors

New Video “Legacy of Leadership” Unveiled

Under the soaring atrium of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s National Portrait Gallery, GW’s most generous benefactors gathered in the fall for the second annual President’s Ball. During the black tie event, GW’s Board of Trustees and President Steven Knapp recognized donors for their high level of support and dedication to the University.

The evening of fine dining, dancing, and student entertainment also featured the unveiling of “Legacy of Leadership”—a video highlighting Dr. Knapp’s focus on student aid, research, sustainability, public service, leadership, and philanthropy. “Legacy of Leadership” can be viewed online at

New Donor Society Members Welcomed

This year, GW welcomed 14 new members to its four premier donor recognition societies: The L’Enfant Society (annual or cumulative giving of $5 million or more); 1821 Benefactors (annual or cumulative giving of $1 million to $5 million); George Washington Society (annual or cumulative giving of $500,000 to $999,999); and Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society (planned gifts of $500,000 or more). New members, in alphabetical order, are:

Steffanie H. Burgevin, BA ’68, Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society

Richard C. DiPippo, BA ’79, Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society

Mindy Davis Goldsborough, PhD ’85, and T. Alan Goldsborough, Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society

Vinod Gupta, George Washington Society

Seymour Herman, LLM ’66, and Sheila Herman, Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society

Cyrus J. and Myrtle S. Katzen, L’Enfant Society

Robert P. and Arlene R. Kogod, L’Enfant Society

Jane White-Lewis, PhD, and Richard C. Lewis, MD, George Washington Society

John David McGurl, MD, BS ’84, Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society

Ruby Poirel, Tempietto Circle of the Heritage Society

Charles E. Smith Family Foundation, L’Enfant Society

Elizabeth Smith and David Bruce Smith, BA ’79, L’Enfant Society

M.F. “Midge” Smith, PhD, 1821 Benefactors

Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, L’Enfant Society

Alumni Weekend 2009 to Feature “Taste of GW,” Comedy, Sustainability

Join Fellow GW Graduates, Oct. 1-4, 2009

Alumni, family, and friends who return to campus for Alumni Weekend this fall can look forward to a “Taste of GW”—a family carnival featuring food and beverages from alumni who own restaurants in the greater D.C. area, several comedy events hosted by ReceSs, green tours of campus, and movie screenings, among other highlights.

“Alumni Weekend is always a lot of fun. It’s a great time to come back to campus, see old friends, make new connections, and see how campus has changed,” says Stephanie Medwid, associate director of classes and reunions. “We’re focusing our energy on quality events that give alumni the opportunity to experience the best GW has to offer.”

Alumni celebrate their 10th reunion at Eyebar during Alumni Weekend 2008.

This year will celebrate the reunion class years of 2004, 1999, 1989, 1984 and 1959 and also feature a ’70s-era reunion for alumni who graduated in that decade. In addition, there will be an athletics reunion, a 20th anniversary reception for Presidential Administrative Fellow alumni, an all-alumni kick-off party on University Yard, and a State of the University speech by GW President Steven Knapp as well as school and affinity-based activities.

In keeping with GW’s commitment to environmentally conscious operations, GW is planning, advertising, and executing Alumni Weekend in a manner that promotes and improves sustainability. To learn more or register to attend, visit

President Knapp’s Travels Engage Alumni, Open Doors to New Partnerships

At a gathering in the Dominican Republic are (from left) U.S. Ambassador Charles Manatt, JD ’62; Kathleen Manatt; President Steven Knapp; Diane Robinson Knapp; Rafael Emilio; Maria Bonetti, AA ’65; and Roberto Bonetti.

President Steven Knapp has returned from visits to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East, the latest of several trips that demonstrate his commitment to international outreach and building a global community among alumni, parents, friends, and institutional partners. Since becoming president, his travels have taken him to the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Dominican Republic, where he met with thousands of international alumni and other members of the extended GW community, as well as key government officials and leaders in the private sector.

In January, Dr. Knapp met privately with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernández and Minister of Health and Social Assistance Bautista Rojas Gómez to explore future collaborations between GW and their country. Among the topics discussed were issues relating to public health and the work of GW professors Peter Hotez and Maria Elena Bottazzi on several Latin America and Caribbean initiatives to battle neglected tropical diseases.

Following his trip to the Dominican Republic, Dr. Knapp went to Miami, which has become an international hub for outreach to GW alumni living in Latin America. A GW community event held in Miami brought together about 100 Latin American alumni, parents, and friends and reconnected them with the University.

Last November, Dr. Knapp made his third trip to Asia—which is home to nearly 50 percent of GW’s international alumni—visiting Tokyo, Bangkok, and Singapore. Among the receptions he attended was an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce–Singapore, where he spoke about “Foreign Policy Priorities for the Next U.S. President.”

President Steven Knapp joined alumni for an event in Tokyo.

“It was a really great step to establish GW Alumni,” says Hiromi Fuchikami, BA ’99, who attended an event in Tokyo. “Some people have forgotten GW, but once we got together all the sweet memories came back to them. Now people are connected. I heard many Japanese alumni trying to get together after the event.”

Looking ahead, the first GW global forum is planned for fall 2009 in Hong Kong. The event will bring together prominent figures from around the world to discuss issues of international significance.

“Our graduates draw on their GW education and experience in addressing important global challenges,” says Dr. Knapp about his efforts to sustain GW’s distinctive international perspective. “We take great pride in our international partnerships, knowing that, together, we can play a critical role in building a global community that will benefit humanity as a whole.”

$1 Million from Kuwait Advances Middle East Studies

(Left to right) are Ambassador of the State of Kuwait to the United States H.E. Sheikh Salim Al‑Abdullah Al‑Jaber Al‑Sabah; Edward W. Gnehm, BA ’66, MA ’68, Kuwait Professor of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Affairs; Donald R. Lehman, PhD ’70, executive vice president for Academic Affairs; Michael E. Brown, dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs; and President Steven Knapp.

Preparing GW students for careers in the international arena has been greatly enhanced through a recent $1,050,000 gift from the State of Kuwait, through the generosity of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al‑Ahmad Al‑Jaber Al‑Sabah, in support of the Institute for Middle East Studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs. 

“Mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and of the Middle East region is vital to ensuring global peace and prosperity,” GW President Steven Knapp says. “His Highness’s generosity will help us continue to build one of this nation’s premier centers for the study of this important region.”

The institute, established in 2007, focuses on the region’s history, cultures, and conflicts. It supports the work of GW’s Middle East Studies Program, which offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Middle East studies, research fellowships to GW faculty members and students, and hosts the University’s Middle East Policy Forum.

Accomplished Alumnae Return for Women and Philanthropy Forum

(From left) GW Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Laurel Price Jones; Reston Limousine President and CEO Kristina Bouweiri, BA ’85; Washington Nationals Dream Foundation Chairperson, Washington Nationals Principal Owner, and Lerner Family Foundation President Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, JD ’83; GW President Steven Knapp; CB Richard Ellis Senior Vice President and Partner Meredith LaPier, BBA ’81, MBA ’85; Charles Schwab & Co. Senior Vice President and Chief Strategist/Consumer Education, and Charles Schwab Foundation President Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, MBA ’87; GW School of Business Dean Susan Phillips; and Sharon Hadary & Co. Principal Sharon G. Hadary, DBA ’75.

Nearly 100 GW graduates and philanthropists gathered at The George Washington University on April 2 for a forum about women making a difference through charitable giving.

Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, MBA ’87, Charles Schwab & Co. senior vice president and chief strategist/consumer education and Charles Schwab Foundation president, delivered the keynote address. Schwab Pomerantz highlighted three keys to successful philanthropy: finding your passion, utilizing your resources strategically, and ensuring your personal financial security.

Following the keynote, a panel of noted alumnae discussed their approach to philanthropy, shared advice, and answered audience questions. The panel was moderated by Sharon G. Hadary, DBA ’75, immediate past executive director of the Center for Women’s Business Research and principal of Sharon Hadary & Co., and featured Kristina Bouweiri, BA ’85, president and CEO of Reston Limousine; Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, JD ’83, chairperson of the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, principal owner of the Washington Nationals, and president of the Lerner Family Foundation; and Meredith LaPier, BBA ’81, MBA ’85, senior vice president and partner at CB Richard Ellis.

To view video and photos from the event, visit

Revamped Luther Rice Society Offers Industry-Specific Networking

His name may not be as recognizable as George Washington’s, but the man who founded the Columbian College nearly 200 years ago and laid the foundation for what is now GW is gaining prominence with the re-launch of the Luther Rice Society.

Luther Rice helped raise the necessary funding and lobbied President James Monroe and Congress to make George Washington’s vision of a university in the heart of our nation’s capital a reality. In 1968, GW created the Luther Rice Society in his honor.

Now, more than 40 years later, GW is promoting a reinvigorated Luther Rice Society to build a culture of philanthropy and provide premium networking opportunities, exclusive events, and access to leading alumni and University officials. Membership is extended to alumni and friends who make annual gifts each fiscal year at the following levels: $250 for alumni within five years of graduation, $500 for alumni six to nine years after graduation, $1,000 for alumni 10 or more years after graduation.

“We want to provide people with a great network of alumni and give them access to the intellectual capital of the University,” says Seth Rosenzweig, BBA ’01, executive director of development, leadership annual giving. “It’s a program that allows people to engage with GW around their intersts and passions.”

Alumni and friends gather at the New York Stock Exchange for the New York City launch of the Luther Rice Society Financial Services Alliance.

The society features four industry alliances—Entertainment and Media, Real Estate, Political, and Financial Services—that provide additional opportunities to connect with notable alumni, University leaders, and friends of GW. Two alliances hosted launch events in New York this March—the Financial Services Alliance went public at the New York Stock Exchange on March 16, and the Entertainment and Media Alliance rolled out the red carpet at Bloomberg on March 25. Other spring events included the Luther Rice Society First Annual Celebration at Washington, D.C.’s, Newseum, and programs in Boston, Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia. More events will take place this summer and fall in cities around the country.

Henry Yaniz, BBA ’77, the incoming co-chair of the Luther Rice Society, says he has seen a “sea change” in regard to alumni involvement in his area in South Florida. “There were just a whole bunch of us out there who were just waiting to be asked to be more involved,” Yaniz explains. “The society is a community of people who care and who are committed. So far, I can say that I’ve gotten a lot more out of it than I’ve put in.”

To learn more or get involved, visit

—Caitlin Carroll, BA ’07, MA ’09