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Carbonells Challenge Seniors to 50% Participation in Class Gift Campaign

GW Trustee Nelson Carbonell, BS '85, and his wife, Michele

GW Trustee Nelson Carbonell, BS '85, and his wife, Michele, have issued a challenge to the Class of 2012: They will support the Power & Promise Fund with a $50,000 donation if 50 percent of the Class of 2012 participates in the campaign by supporting any area of the university.

The Senior Class Gift campaign, led by a dedicated committee of student volunteers, has been a philanthropic tradition at George Washington since the 1980s. Each year, the graduating class comes together to build a culture of philanthropy among students in preparation of joining the lifelong and worldwide community of more than 224,000 GW alumni. Senior class philanthropy has supported numerous initiatives on campus and established a tradition of giving by GW Colonials.

The 2012 campaign is led by Senior Class Gift Coordinator Victoria Hartman and a committed group of seniors, who have been working since the start of the 2011-12 school year. During the past three years, each graduating class has surpassed the previous year's participation. Most recently, the Class of 2011 achieved a record 43 percent class giving rate. Campaign leadership is confident that the Class of 2012 will step up to the challenge and reach record-breaking 50 percent participation by the end of the year to secure the Carbonells' generous support.

Nelson Carbonell is the founder of Nelson Carbonell and Associates, a firm assisting middle-market companies with strategy, financing, operations, and technology. He was born and raised in the Washington, D.C., area and resides with his wife, Michele, and four children in Great Falls, Va. Mr. Carbonell serves as the vice chair of the George Washington University Board of Trustees.

Members of the Class of 2012 are encouraged to make a gift to any area of the university—scholarships, a school or department, student organizations, athletics, or anything else—that has made a difference in their GW experience.

To keep up with the 2012 campaign's progress, follow the Senior Class Gift on Facebook and Twitter, or to make a gift, visit

Honoring a Mentor and Friend

Ibrahim A. Ashie, BS '70, MS '73

In the late fall 2011 edition of GW Magazine, a $100,000 pledge by Ibrahim A. Ashie, SEAS BS '70, MS '73, of Conway, S.C., was reported incorrectly. Mr. Ashie's $100,000 pledge in fact established the Shao Wen Yuan Mechanical Engineering Memorial Scholarship. We apologize for the error.

Mr. Ashie established this endowed scholarship to honor former GW engineering professor Shao Wen Yuan, who was not only a teacher but also a mentor to him for several years. Mr. Ashie began assisting Dr. Yuan in drafting charts for papers he was writing. When Mr. Ashie finished his undergraduate studies at age 38, Dr. Yuan encouraged him to pursue his master's degree in engineering at GW.

"Dr. Yuan called and asked if I wanted a scholarship to continue my studies," Mr. Ashie remembers. "At the time I was ready to get a job and work, but Professor Yuan advised me that at my age, I would be at a disadvantage without an advanced degree. Without the knowledge I gained from that experience, I know I would not have been able to reach where I am today."

After Mr. Ashie finished his graduate studies, it was Dr. Yuan who helped him find a job with the U.S. Army, which led to a 25-year career with the U.S. government. After seeing a GW scholarship named in recognition of another professor, Mr. Ashie knew he had to honor his professor, friend, and mentor in the same way.

"I wanted to honor Dr. Yuan because he has had such a strong impact on my life," says Mr. Ashie. "I set up this scholarship for mechanical engineering students with the hope that they have the opportunity to learn from professors like him."

Thank You for the Music

Peter Yeskel, BA '71, establishes concert series in honor of his father.

Violinist and violist Miranda Cuckson will perform works by Bach, Ysaye, and Hersch March 27 in GW's Jack Morton Auditorium in the next installment of the Stanley Yeskel Memorial Concert Series. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about this event and other performances visit

The late Stanley Yeskel, father of Peter Yeskel, BA '71, enjoyed playing the piano but never had the opportunity to purse his passion professionally. Inspired by his father's love of music, Peter Yeskel has established a fund to support a concert series at GW in his father's name. As part of the series, GW students will have the opportunity to interact with visiting performers through activities such as master classes and classroom visits.

"It would make my father smile if he thought he was helping kids do what he was unable to do," Mr. Yeskel says.

The Stanley Yeskel Annual Concert Fund will bring one or two performers to GW's campus every year over the next five years through the annual Stanley Yeskel Memorial Concert Series, hosted by the Department of Music in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Peter Yeskel's gift also establishes an endowed bequest to support the fund in the future.

The first Stanley Yeskel Memorial Concert performance was held in GW's Betts Theater in October and featured Lithuanian pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute performing on a brand-new Steinway piano. The performance was covered by The Washington Post, which wrote, "Word of the series surely will spread."

The second performance, "Time and Tide: Music of Bach, Ysaye and Hersch" featuring Miranda Cuckson, will take place March 27 at 7:30 p.m. in GW's Jack Morton Auditorium. Cuckson, a violinist and violist, is acclaimed for her ability to perform a wide repertoire spanning early to contemporary classical pieces. Anthony Tommasini, the chief classical music critic at The New York Times, calls Ms. Cuckson "a brilliant young performer who plays daunting contemporary music with insight, honesty, and temperament."

Dr. Douglas Boyce, chair of the Department of Music, hopes the series can continue to grow over the coming years and inspire similar gifts. The gift "is in line with the department's goal to be a true liberal arts program that integrates performance, composition, and scholarship," Dr. Boyce says.

In addition to performing on campus, all visiting artists will interact with students in a variety of ways, including master classes and visits to music classrooms. These interactions will give students "through sight and sound, passive observation and active interaction, the opportunity to experience what performance can be at this level of artistry," Dr. Boyce says.

Staying involved with GW has always been a priority for Mr. Yeskel, who studied political science in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. Choosing to remain in the D.C. area after graduating, he joined the Dean's National Council for Arts and Sciences in 1998 and continues to serve as an emeritus member. He has also made gifts in support of GW in the past—including the Peter K. Yeskel Family Endowed Dean's Fund for Excellence in 2000.