Traditions are an important part of GW's culture, enriching daily life and cultivating pride within our community. Our oldest traditions date back to 1904 when Columbian College became The George Washington University. With the adoption of its new name, GW embraced a rich array of customs and symbols complementing the University's character and vision. Today, many of our traditions incorporate the legends and lore linked to our namesake, President George Washington.

Over time, diversity and a broadening range of student interests have brought additional traditions that are shared by faculty, staff and alumni. Old and new, these are celebrated through athletics, student organizations, spirit groups, University publications and hallmark events. Campus landmarks, including the Tempietto, brick walkways, University Gates, busts of George Washington and the lovable bronze hippo, join the traditions, helping GW to leave an indelible mark on its charming neighborhood in the nation’s beautiful city of monuments.

Foggy Bottom Directions & Parking

Airport & Public Transportation

The George Washington University is easily accessible by taxi or subway (Metro) from Reagan National Airport and Amtrak (Union Station).

From Dulles International Airport, you may take the Washington Flyer bus service to many downtown hotels. People arriving at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport may take the Super Shuttle or Amtrak directly into Washington, D.C.

Metro (Subway)

The Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro Station is located on campus. It offers access to Metro’s Blue, Orange and Silver lines. For more information on metro, visit Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Driving Directions

From North:

  • Interstate 95 South to Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) toward Silver Spring/Northern Virginia
  • Take Exit 33, heading south on Connecticut Avenue for about 9 miles
  • Turn right onto Florida Avenue (just past the Washington Hilton) and then turn left immediately onto 21st Street
  • Turn right on I Street
  • The visitor entrance to the Academic Center Parking Garage is on the left between 21st and 22nd Streets

From Northwest:

  • Interstate 270 to Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) toward Silver Spring
  • Take Exit 33, heading south on Connecticut Avenue for about 9 miles
  • Follow directions as shown above in “From North”

From West:

  • Interstate 66 and Route 50 both connect with the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge
  • Cross the bridge and exit left at E Street, then again at Virginia Avenue
  • Bear left, following signs for 23rd Street
  • Turn right on 23rd Street and continue a few blocks to campus
  • Turn right on I Street
  • The visitor entrance to the Academic Center Parking Garage is on the right between 21st and 22nd Streets

From South:

  • Interstate 95 to Interstate 395, Arlington Memorial Bridge Exit
  • Cross the bridge and bear left at the Lincoln Memorial
  • Turn left onto 23rd Street, NW, and follow directions as shown above in “From West”

Visitor Parking

Parking on campus is currently a challenge due to ongoing construction, so we strongly encourage the use of public transportation.  If you choose to drive to GW, a limited number of visitor parking spaces is available in the Academic Center Parking Garage (801 22nd Street, NW; entrance on I Street, NW, between 21st and 22nd Streets) and in the Marvin Center Parking Garage (800 21st Street, NW; entrance on H Street, NW, between 21st and 22nd Streets).  The parking fee is $18 per day or for a portion of the day (subject to change).  On-campus street parking is available, but it is also limited and time limits are strictly enforced.

  • Academic Center Parking Garage is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
  • Marvin Center Parking Garage is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until midnight daily.

For more information, visit Transportation & Parking Services.

Campus Landmarks

Kogan Plaza

Campus landmarks are a quintessential part of the University. Iconic buildings, statues, open spaces and other landmarks – and their histories and legends – are among the special elements that unite the GW community. Knowing about the landmarks can save campus newcomers from the embarrassment of, for example, heading to the National Zoo when someone says “Meet me by the Hippo.” For the record, the hippo sculpture on the Foggy Bottom campus is GW’s unofficial mascot.

University Yard
With entrances on H, 20th, and 21st streets, NW, the University Yard is a favorite spot for students to study, relax and meet friends on beautiful days. The open area studded with benches, trees, grass and flowers includes rose gardens at the north and west entrances. Those roses bloom from early May through the fall. The brick walkways that converge at the center of the University Yard lead from the GW Law School and other academic buildings.

George Washington Statue
A bronze statue of George Washington stands at the north entrance of the University Yard, just past the rose garden. The statue is a cast of the 18th-century marble original by French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.

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 popular sculpture has become an unofficial GW mascot.

Tall European-design clocks rise from three locations on the campus. One anchors the center of Kogan Plaza, a popular lunch spot, a venue for student events and a rendezvous point for friends.

Washington Busts
Four busts of GW’s namesake appear at four street intersections on the campus. The busts carry the University’s name and serve as a reminder of GW’s presence within the city at the same time they fuel student pride.

Pushkin Statue
The first U.S. memorial to Russian poet and writer Alexander Pushkin was erected at The George Washington University in September 2000. “This statue will serve as a great inspiration to our students who are drawn to the elegance, wit and lightness of Pushkin’s language and the accessibility of his imagery,” former GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said when the memorial was installed. The statue is found at 22nd and H streets, NW.

Tempietto (“Little Temple”)
A classical structure in Kogan Plaza, the Tempietto adds an aesthetic touch to a busy GW location. Students use the Tempietto as a gathering spot in the center of campus.

Kogan Plaza
Beside Gelman Library and behind Lisner Auditorium is the University’s equivalent of an outdoor living room. Kogan Plaza is home to the Tempietto, a clock, a fountain, benches, a full outdoor classroom and tables and chairs for outside dining or studying.

Lenthall Houses
The Lenthall Houses are two of the oldest buildings in the District of Columbia. They went up on 19th Street, NW, and then were moved to their present location at 606 and 610 21st St. in 1978 to make room for an annex to the World Bank. They were designed and built by John Lenthall, the principal assistant to Benjamin Latrobe in the construction of the U.S. Capitol and superintendent of the building from 1803-1808. The houses are Federal-style brick buildings that are used for visiting faculty.

President’s Residence
At 1925 F St., NW, a historical building serves as home to GW President Steven Knapp. Once the site of the prestigious F Street Club, the beautiful building was renovated and now watches over Thurston Hall.

GW Lisner Auditorium
Lisner Auditorium opened its doors in the fall of 1946 and, for many years, was the only sizable theater in Washington. Composed of marble, the auditorium’s spare design, spaciousness and ultra-modern lighting system set it apart from other performance venues of its period. It opened with 1,550 seats and a 59-foot stage, reportedly the largest south of New York City. Ingrid Bergman performed here in 1949. Before the Kennedy Center was built, Lisner Auditorium, at 730 21st St., NW, was Washington’s focal point for music and dramatic performances. Susan Whitney Dimock bequeathed money for the Dimock Gallery next to the lower Lisner Lounge.

Anniversary Park
This pocket park on F Street between 22nd and 23rd streets, NW, commemorates GW’s 175th anniversary. Complete with a garden, benches and grills for gatherings, Anniversary Park is a valued space on the south end of the city campus.

Washington Circle
Just north of the The George Washington University Hospital, the circle features a bronze equestrian statue of George Washington at its center. The circle was dedicated in February 1860 on the eve of the Civil War. It depicts Washington at the 1776 Battle of Princeton.

2000 Penn
This block-long, mixed-use commercial space at 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, was constructed in the 1980s behind a group of Victorian townhouses. Owned by GW, it includes shops and restaurants on the lower level and first floor, and offices on the upper floors. The structure’s facade holds the distinction of being the only stretch of architecture between the White House and Washington Circle that retains its historic character without intrusion.

Ornamental Gates
Three ornamental iron gates, part of a major plan to enhance GW’s Foggy Bottom campus, mark the entrances to Kogan Plaza. Professors Gate stands on 21st Street, NW, next to Lisner Auditorium. Across the quadrangle on 22nd St., NW, is America’s Gate, endowed by alumnus Emilio Fernandez. Americas Gate commemorates cultural diversity in the United States. On H Street, NW, Trustees Gate marks the main entrance to Kogan Plaza.

Once a popular pharmacy and GW gathering place, the building at 619 21st St., NW, has hung onto its importance as a GW hotspot. Although it retains Quigley’s exterior facade, the building is now home to Tonic Restaurant, an American cuisine eatery that has revitalized the 21st Street address.

Alumni House
Housed in two pre-Civil War townhouses, 1918 F St., NW, is home to GW’s Office of Alumni Relations. Alumni House has a rich heritage. It contains historic furniture and artwork from President Ulysses S. Grant. His grandson Ulysses S. Grant III, a former GW trustee, donated the furniture to the University in the 1950s.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (JBKO) Hall
The residence hall at 2222 Eye St., NW, is dedicated to GW’s most noted alumna. Several portraits of the former first lady grace the hall’s lobby, offering students a daily reminder of her brilliance and sophistication.

Other Locations

The George Washington University offers graduate programs at other selected locations.

Through partnerships with educational systems, nonprofit organizations and government agencies, students pursue graduate study at sites in Maryland, including the Board of Jewish Education in Rockville, the Children’s Guild in Chillum, the NASA Goddard Flight Center in Greenbelt, the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center.

Programs in educational leadership and administration, designed for working professionals in the K-12 arena, are provided at the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach and in Mechanicsville, Va.

GW meets the needs of professionals throughout the United States via on-site contract programs with multinational corporations such as SAIC and Lockheed-Martin.

Internationally, GW offers graduate programs in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

Virginia Academic Centers

Beyond its main campuses, the George Washington University has established several academic centers to provide graduate educational opportunities to working professionals near their homes and workplaces. These graduate programs provide the full benefit of GW’s internationally recognized academic excellence, adhering to the same high standards as all the university’s programs. Classes are taught by members of GW’s outstanding faculty and are supplemented by the real-world experience and extensive expertise of professionals in the fields.

Alexandria Graduate Education Center

To continue to meet the growing need in the Alexandria, Va., area, this center moved to a new and enhanced location—a few short blocks from the King Street Metro Station—in 2008. The center includes a state-of-the-art, dual-boot Mac lab, a community counseling center, an art studio, 11 working classrooms and an ever-changing art gallery. The center offers graduate programs in art therapy, educational administration, human resource development, landscape design, school counseling and public relations, as well as the residential component of several combined online/in-person graduate masters and certificate programs.

Arlington Graduate Education Center

Located near the Virginia Square metro station, the center features masters and graduate certificate programs in education, engineering, human resource development, security and tourism administration. The site incorporates 24,000 square feet of learning space, three computer labs, a homework lab, student and faculty lounges and 14 fully equipped meeting or classrooms.

Hampton Roads Center

GW’s Hampton Roads Center has provided world-class programs in southern Virginia since 1958. Located in the Oyster Point Corporate Park in Newport News, Va., the 10,200-square-foot facility focuses on the academic fields of educational leadership, engineering management and human resource development. The center also offers courses throughout the Tidewater region, in Virginia Beach and in Richmond.

Virginia Science & Technology Campus


The George Washington University’s Virginia Science & Technology Campus is a hub for research in engineering and the sciences. The 100-acre campus in Loudoun County, Va., sits in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor.

The campus is home to research and educational partnerships with industry and government leaders. Its myriad collaborations include:

Along with research centers and partnerships, the campus offers more than 20 graduate degrees in areas including information systems technology, business, public safety and human and organizational learning. To advance health care and improve the efficacy of drug therapies, the GW School of Medicine and Health Science has partnered with the Shenandoah University Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy to offer a health sciences degree in pharmacogenomics and a joint research program on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.

Mount Vernon Campus


The George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus is located in the verdant Foxhall neighborhood of Northwest Washington, DC, just three miles northwest of the Foggy Bottom Campus.

Mount Vernon provides a more traditional college campus than its Foggy Bottom counterpart while still offering students easy access to all the nation’s capital has to offer.

Mount Vernon is an integral part of the GW experience and features a variety of academic, residential and social options for students.

The 25-acre campus features:

  • 24-hour transportation to and from the Foggy Bottom Campus on the Vern Express
  • Six residence halls
    • 687 students living on campus
  • Campus dining and student gathering places
    • Pelham Commons in West Hall
  • Athletic facilities
    • Lloyd Gymnasium
    • NCAA regulation soccer/lacrosse field
    • Softball field
    • Mount Vernon Tennis Complex
    • Six-lane outdoor swimming pool
  • Campus Facilities
  • Active Alumnae

Foggy Bottom Campus


Since 1912, GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus has been a part of the historic Foggy Bottom neighborhood, only blocks from the White House, State Department, World Bank and world-class museums.

The university capitalizes on its location to deliver an unprecedented educational experience, bringing nearby international, government and cultural resources into the classroom, drawing adjunct faculty from the top ranks of public and international institutions and facilitating exceptional internship and job opportunities for its students.

The campus is truly a part of Washington, D.C., and its range of architecture reflects that relationship. More than 100 campus buildings house classrooms, libraries, residence halls, fitness centers and the medical center. Landscaped outdoor spaces include pocket parks, the University Yard, a flourishing rose garden, the classical Tempietto and outdoor sculptures.

Foggy Bottom Campus amenities include:

  • 42 acres in the heart of the city
  • Proximity to shops, restaurants, clubs and galleries
  • 26 residence halls
  • Sports facilities: Health and Wellness Center, Charles E. Smith Center
  • Campus Dining Locations: J Street, Ivory Tower, 1959 E Street, Potomac House

The campus also boasts historic landmarks, including the F Street House, a residence built in 1849 that served for decades as a club for presidents, vice presidents, Supreme Court justices, members of Congress and other elite.


Foggy Bottom Campus

The Foggy Bottom Campus sits in the heart of the nation’s capital, in a vibrant neighborhood bordered by the Potomac River, the Watergate complex, the White House and the State Department. Its location is key to the University’s mission and critical to its success. The campus is home to the majority of GW’s schools and administrative offices, as well as classrooms, libraries, residence halls and the University’s medical center.

Mount Vernon Campus

The Mount Vernon Campus is found in Washington, D.C.’s, wooded Foxhall neighborhood on the former site of Mount Vernon College, a women’s institution with a long heritage of its own. Institutional and commercial venues, as well as homes, embassies and diplomatic residences, surround the Mount Vernon Campus. Yet, it is close enough to downtown, Foggy Bottom and Georgetown to offer access to everything Washington, D.C., has to offer.

Virginia Science & Technology Campus

The Virginia Science & Technology Campus was established in 1991 as GW’s flagship research and technology center. It houses centers of excellence in transportation safety and security, public health and homeland security, professional and executive education and information technology and telecommunications. The campus in Ashburn, Va., is strategically positioned in the Northern Virginia technology corridor.

Academic Centers in Virginia

The Academic Centers in Virginia provide graduate educational opportunities to working professionals near their homes and workplaces. These graduate programs provide the full benefit of GW’s internationally recognized academic excellence, adhering to the same high standards as all the University’s programs. 

Other Locations

In addition to its three campuses, GW maintains facilities in other locations across the region that serve as education centers for its graduate professional studies programs.


GW recognizes the importance of maintaining accreditation by appropriate academic and professional agencies and organizations. We believe that ongoing accreditation of the University, its schools, departments, and programs enhances our reputation as a center of academic excellence and as a trusted provider of educational and professional preparation. This is important to prospective and current students, as well as to our alumni.
The George Washington University is:

  • Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the regional accrediting agency
  • On the approved list of the American Association of University Women
  • Member of the College Board

For specific program accreditation details, please visit the appropriate College or School site.