Area Attractions

Whatever the reason for your visit to GW, and no matter how long you stay, you’ll never run out of things to do. At the edges of our Foggy Bottom Campus, you’ll find the White House, the Department of State, the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and a number of other cultural, government and entertainment venues. Washington’s most popular attractions are just a walk or a Metro ride away from the campus.


Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries line the nearby National Mall. They include the Museums of American History and Natural History, the Air and Space Museum and the Freer and Sackler Galleries.The National Gallery of Art,  the National Archives and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are also in the same area.

Government Buildings, Monuments and Memorials

Along with the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress, you can easily visit the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and the Vietnam, Korean War and World War II memorials. Many U.S. government agencies and departments offer tours for visitors.

Washington, D.C., Neighborhoods

You can spend time exploring our historic Foggy Bottom or Mount Vernon/Foxhall neighborhoods. From both, Downtown, Penn Quarter, Capitol Hill and Georgetown shops and services can be reached on foot, Metro subway, Taxi, or by bus. The Adams Morgan and U Street/Shaw neighborhoods are a melting pot of cultures and home to popular entertainment, clubs and restaurants. The National Zoo, the National Mall and Rock Creek Park are among the city’s many green spaces.

Performing Arts

Washington hosts professional symphonic, opera, theater and ballet companies, including Arena Stage, the Folger Shakespeare Theatreand the Kennedy Center. The city is filled with clubs offering a wide range of popular music. GW’s own Lisner Auditorium is one of D.C.’s busiest and best-known venue for the performing arts.

George Washington

You can explore the Virginia haunts of GW’s namesake by visiting Olde Towne Alexandria, roaming Washington’s Mount Vernon home and traveling to his birthplace at Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg.

D.C. Sports

Washington is a great sports city. Depending on the season, you can take in baseball with the Washington Nationals, football with the Redskins, basketball with the Wizards, hockey with the Capitals and soccer with D.C. United. If you’re fortunate enough to visit during basketball season, you can’t miss GW’s own Colonials!

Great Side Trips

If you’re traveling to and from GW by car and have the time to wander beyond the city, a number of outstanding attractions are just a day-trip away. They include Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the historic port of Annapolis, Md., beautiful Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park and beaches in Maryland and Delaware.

GW Bookstore

Plan on your visit to campus to include shopping at the GW Bookstore for an assortment of spirited apparel and gifts. Located on the ground floor of the Marvin Center, you will also find residence hall and school supplies, computer-related products, magazines and best sellers, greeting cards, and textbooks and course materials.  It is the destination for all things Colonials!

Listen to the GW Fight Song

GW's Pep Band performs the GW Fight Song at every home basketball game. Click on the link above to sing along with one of their performances.


Explore Athletics

D.C. Transportation

Regardless of how you travel, once in the city you’ll find it easy to get around on foot or by using the Metro system of buses and underground rail. 

By Air

The Washington region is served by three major airports:

Reagan Washington National Airport in suburban Virginia is closest and most convenient to the University. From the airport, you can hop on a Metrorail train or take a taxi directly to the Foggy Bottom Campus.

Dulles International Airport is more distant in the Virginia suburbs. You may want to rent a car, take a taxi or use the Washington Flyer shuttles to get into the city. There is not yet direct rail transport from Dulles to Washington, D.C.

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), in Maryland, is the most distant area airport from the campus. From BWI, you can rent a car or take the Super Shuttle or Amtrak train into Washington, D.C.

By Rail

The Washington region is served by Amtrak. If traveling by rail, you will arrive at Union Station, not far from the Capitol.  MARC trains (Maryland Transit Administration) and VRE trains (Virginia Railway Express) serve commuters from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. They share the Union Station hub with Amtrak. Inside Union Station, you can board Metrorail for a short subway ride to the heart of the Foggy Bottom Campus. 

By Metro (Subway)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority provides an efficient subway system for navigating the city. Extensive Metrobus routes complement it. An extensive network of underground and aboveground trains (Metrorail) serves most of the city and Maryland and Virginia suburbs, as well as Reagan Washington National Airport. Planned future extensions include service to Dulles International Airport.

The Foggy Bottom GWU Metro stop, located on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, is on our Foggy Bottom Campus at 21st and I Streets, NW.

By Car

Washington D.C., is located inside the famous Capital Beltway (I-495), accessible from north and south on Interstate 95, and from the west on I-66. Traveling by car around the Washington area can be challenging, particularly for first-time visitors.

By Taxi

A fleet of thousands of licensed, metered taxis serves Washington, D.C., close-in suburbs and the airports.

By Enterprise Car Share

Need a car on occasion? Sign up for Enterprise CarShare, a convenient, by-the-hour, self-service car rental program. Vehicles can be found on campus, at WMATA Kiss & Ride locations at most metro stations, and throughout the District of Columbia. Anyone is eligible to use GW's Enterprise CarShare program, and GW students 18 years of age and older can join at a discounted rate. Fuel, insurance and Enterprise-only parking are included in the rental rates.

By Bike

Washington, D.C., is on the leading edge of bike travel. More than 700 bike racks have been installed around the city since 2000. Countless miles of bike paths go along the Potomac River, through historic neighborhoods, past Civil War sites, around town and into Virginia and Maryland. You can even take your bike on the Metro.

The District of Columbia also has a self-service, public bike-rental program. Capital Bikeshare is an alternative transportation network designed to enhance the city's public transportation system. Capital Bikeshare are parked at designated points throughout the city. Like ZipCar, you can register online and unlock the key to your temporary wheels.

University Offices & Staff

The George Washington University is the largest institution of higher education in the nation’s capital. More than 6,000 faculty members, administrators and support personnel keep the University’s wheels turning.

An essential part of the GW community, they handle student admissions and financial aid, ensure the best possible housing and dining experiences, manage GW’s facilities and resources, are responsible for the health and safety of the University community and strive to create an environment that supports top-quality education.

Department Chairs

The chair of a department serves as the communications channel for all regular business between the faculty of the department and the university’s administration. Department chairs are appointed by the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, acting on nominations from the department that are recommended by the dean of the school.

Exceptions are appointments for chairs in departments of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Milken Institute School of Public Health, which are forwarded to the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, acting on nominations from the school’s dean following a national search or completion of the process outlined in the school's by-laws.

The chair represents the department in matters that are referred to the dean for decision or approval. Increased emphasis on academic planning within the University has added significantly to the chairs’ responsibilities, which include:

  • Responsible for overall quality of the department’s instructional program and research activities
  • Responsible for the administration of department resources
  • Ensure that classes are met and conducted responsibly
  • Ensure that departmental advising is accurately and effectively performed
  • Plays a key role in the preparation and administration of annual budgets
  • Understanding and implementing – effectively, consistently and equitably – all personnel policies, in association with faculty colleagues
  • Facilitates the ongoing professional development of faculty colleagues


The dean of each school serves as its chief administrative officer and is responsible to the president through the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. Deans serve at the pleasure of the president, provided they retain the confidence of their faculty.

The deans meet regularly as the Council of Deans under the leadership of the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. The council plays a major role in the formulation and implementation of the university’s academic goals and educational policies.

Deans have specific roles and responsibilities for their academic units:

  • Responsible for the supervision and development of all resources of the school, including instructional and research programs, faculty and teaching staff, physical facilities and financial resources
  • Presides at faculty meetings of the school
  • With the faculty, develops school policies following university guidelines
  • Recommends appointments, promotions and tenure, based on recommendations of the school’s departments or faculty
  • Prepares annual and long-term budgets with assistance of the faculty
  • Controls expenditures of the school in consultation with the vice president for academic affairs
  • May request and defend the need for further allocations of funds
  • Responsible for leadership in attracting external funds to the school for development of facilities, programs and staff

Linda Livingstone, dean, GW School of Business
Ben Vinson III, dean, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
Hugh L. Agnew, interim dean, Elliott School of International Affairs
David S. Dolling, dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Ali Eskandarian, dean, College of Professional Studies
Michael J. Feuer, dean, Graduate School of Education and Human Development
Pamela Jeffries, dean, GW School of Nursing
Blake D. Morant, dean, GW Law School
Lynn R. Goldman, dean, Milken Institute School of Public Health
Jeffrey Akman, vice president for health affairs and dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Want to talk like a GW student?

Jargon is part of the fun of belonging to the GW community.  Students, faculty, staff, neighbors and even parents, both new and seasoned, bandy about words and phrases strongly identified with our University.

Vice Presidents

Vice presidents at the George Washington University collectively oversee university's vast infrastructure, providing senior leadership and strategic vision across all aspects of GW life. Vice presidents are appointed by and report directly to the president.

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven Lerman

Steven Lerman joined the George Washington University as provost and executive vice president of academic affairs in 2010. As the university’s chief academic officer, he oversees the deans of GW’s 10 colleges and schools to foster academic programs that are both rigorous and relevant, with a particular emphasis on cross-disciplinary scholarship. Dr. Lerman is also responsible for such areas as student affairs, libraries, athletics, and diversity and inclusion.

Dr. Lerman holds the A. James Clark Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and is a three-time alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis H. Katz

Louis H. Katz

Louis H. Katz is the university's chief financial officer. He carries primary responsibility for the management of GW's financial, physical and information systems resources. He oversees strategic, operating and capital planning and budgeting. And he advises the president and the board of trustees on financial and strategic matters affecting the development and operations of the university.

Katz joined GW in 1990 as vice president and treasurer. He was promoted to executive vice president and treasurer in 2003. A long-time manager of academic institutions with medical centers, he previously spent eight years as vice president for administration and treasurer at Tulane University.

Senior Vice President and General Counsel Beth Nolan

Beth Nolan

Beth Nolan is the chief legal officer for the university. She directs all legal services for GW, providing legal counsel, preventive legal guidance and related services in support of the university's teaching and research mission.

Nolan joined GW as senior vice president and general counsel in December 2007. A former GW law professor, she returned to the university after serving as a partner in Crowell & Moring LLP in Washington, D.C. From 1999 to 2001, she was counsel to President Bill Clinton, making her the first woman to serve as counsel to the president of the United States.


Vice President for External Relations Lorraine Voles

Lorraine Voles

Lorraine Voles, BA '81, joined GW in February 2009 as vice president for external relations, a new position that brings communications and government relations into one division. Voles guides GW's government and community relations efforts and communicates the university's goals and accomplishments to a wide variety of constituents, both inside and outside GW.

A professional in the corporate and political communications fields, Voles most recently served as senior vice president of communications and marketing services for Fannie Mae. Prior to that, she was deputy press secretary for former President Bill Clinton, director of communications and chief spokeswoman for former Vice President Al Gore, director of communications for former U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and press secretary for U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

Vice President for Research Leo M. Chalupa

Leo M. Chalupa

Leo M. Chalupa became the university's first vice president of research on April 1, 2009. He serves as GW's chief research officer, charged with overseeing the strategic and operational development of our rapidly growing research enterprise.

An accomplished scientist and administrator, Dr. Chalupa comes to GW following a 34-year career at the University of California, Davis, most recently serving as the chair of neurobiology, physiology and behavior in the College of Biological Sciences. A distinguished professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at UC Davis, he founded the university's Center for Neuroscience in 1992, as well as the Mind and Brain Center, the Brain Imaging Center and the Center for Visual Sciences.

Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Aristide J. Collins Jr

Aristide Collins Jr.

Aristide J. Collins Jr. is vice president for Development and Alumni Relations at the George Washington University. Collins is charged with overseeing the university’s comprehensive philanthropic campaign and also has a faculty appointment as a lecturer in Higher Education Administration.

Formerly, Mr. Collins served as vice president and secretary of GW; vice president for institutional advancement and university relations at Clark Atlanta University; vice president for advancement and a faculty member at Pacific Oaks College and Children's School in Pasadena, California; director of development for university projects at the George Washington University. He also held leadership positions over ten years at California State University at Long Beach. Mr. Collins is designated a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving by the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies. He holds a master's degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach, and a bachelor's degree in political science and Special Certificate in Educational Management from California State University, Hayward. He has completed post-graduate studies in organizational leadership at Pepperdine University.

Vice President for Human Resources Sabrina Ellis

Sabrina Ellis

Sabrina Ellis serves as vice president for human resources. Ms. Ellis plays an important operational, management, and strategic role, ensuring that the human resources (HR) function and its activities are professional and responsive. She leads and manages the central HR organization and provides professional guidance and direction to the HR professionals within GWs divisions.

Ms. Ellis brings to the position extensive experience in all aspects of human resources management, including managing human resources needs for academic institutions. Ms. Ellis joined the George Washington University from the City College of New York, CUNY, where she served as assistant vice president of human resources and chief human resources officer. Previously, she served as a human resources director at New York University and as a human resources analyst at Abbott Laboratories located in North Chicago, Ill.

Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences Jeffrey Akman

Jeffrey Akman

Jeffrey S. Akman, MD, was appointed the Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) in 2013. In his capacity as vice president for health affairs, he serves as a liaison between the university and its clinical partners, including the GW Medical Faculty Associates, the GW Hospital, and the Children's National Medical Center. As dean, he leads the eleventh oldest medical school in the United States.

Dr. Akman is a graduate of the SMHS MD program and also completed his psychiatry residency at GW. He has been a GW faculty member since 1985 and has served in decanal roles, including the associate dean for student and faculty development and policies. Just prior to becoming the interim vice president for health affairs, Dr. Akman served as the Leon M. Yochelson professor and chair of the GW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (2000-2010), where he continues to teach medical students and maintain a clinical practice. Dr. Akman is a member of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray's Commission on HIV/AIDS. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a member of the prestigious American College of Psychiatrists. Dr. Akman has a long history of community service and has served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors for organizations like the Whitman-Walker Clinic. He has received multiple awards related to teaching, community service, and humanism in medicine and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.



The Unofficial Mascot

In 1996, GW’s then-President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg gave a gift to the Class of 2000--a bronze hippopotamus. Since it was installed at the corner of 21st and H streets, NW, the hippo has become an unofficial GW mascot.

GW hippo statue in front of Lisner Auditorium