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During the Civil War, the U.S. Government commandeers the College Hill campus and  buildings are used as a hospital and barracks. Despite sagging enrollment, professors continue to hold classes, often in their homes.
The college becomes Columbian University and establishes the Schools of English, Greek, Latin, Modern Languages, Mathematics, Natural Science and Philosophy.
Columbian University, early engraving
Mable Nelson Thurston is among the first female students admitted to the university. Thurston Hall is later named in her honor. Also that year, the first PhD degrees are awarded.
Mable Nelson Thurston
1890s classmates
The School of Graduate Studies formally opens with 24 graduate students in 72 courses taught by 24 professors.
1950s classroom space
Columbian College Dean Henry G. Doyle establishes the first Phi Beta Kappa chapter in Washington, DC, at GW. Doyle leads the college through the early 1950s.
Columbian College’s longest serving dean, Calvin D. Linton, begins his 27-year tenure, a period marked by significant expansion of college faculty and programs.
Physics class in Corcoran Hall
Columbian College alumna Jacqueline Kennedy, BA ’51, visits campus with her husband, President John F. Kennedy, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws. Also in 1962, Columbian College changes its name to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
Phillips Hall
Class of 1899 yearbook image
Columbian Women is organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of women and the university.
First college building, located at “College Hill” in what is now Columbia Heights. The Columbian College seal was drawn and adopted by the Board of Trustees in 1821.
President James Monroe signs the Act of Congress chartering the Columbian College. The first commencement takes place in 1824 with three students graduating. The first MA degree is conferred in 1831.
Second home of the university 1884 - 1910, 15th and K streets, N.W.
The George Washington University is established by an Act of Congress. Columbian College and the Graduate School are consolidated under the Department of Arts and Sciences.
Clara M. Lovett becomes the first female dean of the college.
President James Monroe signed an Act of Congress creating the Columbian College in the District of Columbia 
Phillips Hall, the unofficial home of the Columbian College, is built. The building is dedicated in 1986. 
Ben Vinson III becomes Columbian College’s first African American dean.
Theoretical physicist George Gamow, an early advocate and contributing developer of the Big Bang Theory, joins the faculty and ushers in an era of in which GW serves as a prominent center of scientific activity.
George Gamow
Initially called The Columbiad, the yearbook is published.
Early yearbook image
President James Monroe signs the Act of Congress chartering the Columbian College, a nonsectarian school with Baptist sponsorship. 1824:The first commencement takes place and three students receive Bachelor of Arts degrees. Seven years later, the first master’s degree is conferred.
Carver Barracks on Columbian College grounds
The college becomes Columbian University and establishes the Schools of English, Greek, Latin, Modern Languages, Mathematics, Natural Science and Philosophy. 
Mable Nelson Thurston is among the first female students admitted to the university. Thurston Hall is later named in her honor. Also that year, the first PhD degrees are awarded.
Initially called The Columbiad, the yearbook is published.  
The School of Graduate Studies formally opens with 24 graduate students in 72 courses taught by 24 professors.
Columbian Women is organized for the purpose of advancing the interests of women and the university.
Second home of the university 1884 - 1910, 15th and K streets, N.W.
Columbian College Dean Henry G. Doyle establishes the first Phi Beta Kappa chapter in Washington, DC, at GW. Doyle leads the college through the early 1950s.
Physics class in Corcoran Hall
Columbian College alumna Jacqueline Kennedy, BA ’51, visits campus with her husband, President John F. Kennedy, who was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws. Also in 1962, Columbian College changes its name to the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
Phillips Hall, the unofficial home of the Columbian College, is built. The building is dedicated in 1986.
Ben Vinson III becomes Columbian College’s first African American dean.