GW University Initiatives

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This campaign ended on April 07, 2021, but you can still make a gift to George Washington University by clicking here!
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An Anonymous DonorMatthew Koff and Sasha Pailet Koff gave $25,000
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About

University-wide initiatives offer the opportunity to have the largest possible impact on students at GW. Whether that support is through need-based scholarships, student organizations, the Thurston Hall renovation, or increased library access and resources, these crosscutting funds are pivotal in ensuring that GW remains a world-class university. Throughout his tenure, President Thomas LeBlanc has maintained that the student experience and accessibility to GW remain top priorities. University-wide initiatives affect the widest array of students and continue to reflect the university’s commitment to achieving preeminence as a global research university.


“The opportunities and resources provided by Planet Forward at GW have been instrumental to my professional growth during my college experience. As someone who is passionate about environmental communications, I am so grateful that Planet Forward has given me the incredible platform to publish my stories to a national audience, speak with accomplished journalist professionals, and connect me with career development opportunities in the field. Last summer, Planet Forward connected me with a paid internship at Mongabay, one of the leading international environmental news sites in the world.”  Francesca Edralin, ESIA ’22


Priorities

GW Student Aid

As GW enters its third century, increasing the amount of need-based scholarship support available for students has been identified as a critical need. Scholarships enable GW to attract the best and brightest students to the university, increase the accessibility of a GW education, and prepare students to take on the challenges of the 21st century. In spring 2020, almost 43 percent of the 10,365 undergraduate students received need-based scholarships or grant aid. Without additional philanthropic investment, students’ full need is unable to be met. By supporting scholarships, the generosity of donors helps to ensure that qualified GW students, regardless of financial resources, can pursue their studies and take full advantage of the GW experience. 

Global Women’s Institute

A leading organization that bridges research, education, and action to advance gender equality and reduce violence and discrimination against women and girls, the Global Women’s Institute (GWI) strengthens the global knowledge base on gender issues and is a catalyst for change. GWI shares its expertise and actively engages with the GW campus community on the issue of gender equality, hosting research and policy events on campus, partnering with student organizations to support campus events, and developing and teaching courses. GWI makes change happen by identifying and promoting successful approaches, creating better methodologies, enhancing tools, and adapting proven programs for use around the world.

Libraries and Academic Innovation Dean’s Fund 

As technology evolves and library resources grow, the Libraries and Academic Innovation Dean’s Fund (GWLAI) remains committed to providing every student with access to critical research materials and specialized expertise. Particularly during the COVID-19 crisis, accessibility has become more important than ever as the need for expanded virtual programming and learning support has expanded exponentially. Through GWLAI, students can obtain individual and group tutoring support, participate in online workshops on data analysis, utilize multimedia hardware and software to expand the digital storytelling potential of their academic projects at the CREATE Digital Studio, schedule one-on-one consultations with librarians to develop a research plan, and conduct scholarly research using primary and secondary source material. Throughout the school year, GWLAI provides students with the tools they need for academic success, both inside and outside the classroom.

Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Students across GW are developing into entrepreneurs with the support of programs at the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE). OIE is best known for the annual New Venture Competition, now ranked third in the country, which allows students to bring an idea to the table, work with mentors to construct and pitch, and vie for cash and non-cash prizes equaling $500,000. OIE also supports the growth of women entrepreneurs through the GWomen program; offers a capstone entrepreneurship experience for GW’s most ambitious student startups through the Summer Startup Accelerator; and provides on-campus space for innovation, imagination, and collaboration at the GW I+E Lab. 

Planet Forward Fund

As the university seeks to build a deeper understanding of our planet and the decisions made that affect its future, it knows that effective environmental and scientific communication is needed now more than ever. Students engage with this topic directly through programs like Planet Forward, a project of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. Led by Emmy Award-winning journalist Frank Sesno, Planet Forward attracts a diverse audience of college students from across the country and uses storytelling, media, and educational events to tell of inventions and innovations that can move the planet forward.

Thurston Renovation Fund

Thurston Hall is a GW icon. For more than 50 years, it has played a central role in campus life through thousands of relationships, stories, and shared memories. Construction of the reimagined Thurston Hall, which houses nearly 40 percent of first-year undergraduate students, began last spring, and we look forward to welcoming students back in fall 2022. Every component of the revitalized residence hall—from the entry lobby and hallways to the community lounges to the study rooms and individual student units—is designed to invite robust student interaction. In addition, Thurston’s new dining hall will expand affordable food options on campus. Once completed, the Thurston Hall renovation will create a physically and mentally healthy space for students to call home while at GW.

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