Mount Vernon D.C. Campus Community Relations

From free summer movies on The Vern to use of the Eckles Library, The George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus offers a wide array of resources to our neighbors in the district’s Palisades area. Neighbors takes full advantage of Mount Vernon’s meeting space for both community events and private social occasions. Area residents also can enjoy fitness classes free of charge or join the outdoor pool or tennis center at a reduced membership rate. Neighbors age 60 and over can audit a class for the same low price afforded to GW alumni.

The Mount Vernon Campus partners with community-based organizations as well. It works with the Palisades Village to provide volunteer services that help elderly residents age in place, sharing our faculty’s expertise in gerontology, nursing, nonprofit management and more to help launch the program. D.C. Stoddert Soccer, the School Without Walls, the Field School and St. Patrick’s Episcopal School all play organized sports on Mount Vernon’s athletic fields. And every year since the 1940s, the Mount Vernon Campus has participated in the Palisades Citizens’ Association 4th of July Parade, entering a float and providing parking for the event.

Our mutually beneficial relationship with the community stems from constant outreach. We host quarterly public meetings to hear about our neighbors’ interests and concerns. Through our Office of Community Relations, we make sure we respond to neighbors’ comments, inquiries and emergencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Events

From coffeehouses to “Wacky Wednesdays,” the George Washington University’s Mount Vernon Campus has something for everyone, students and neighbors alike. Our monthly e-newsletter alerts the community to special cultural events and several celebrations that take place every year.

Octoberfest – Held every fall during Colonials Weekend, this family event features music, pumpkin carving, arts and crafts, games, seasonal desserts, contests and more.

Films on the Vern – GW’s free summer film series takes place every Wednesday night on the Mount Vernon Campus quad or, when it rains, in the Eckles Library Auditorium.

Free Yoga Class – Spring is time for free yoga for all—regardless of ability—sponsored by GW’s Campus Recreation Department. Weekly classes are held in the Hand Chapel on Foxhall Road.

Foggy Bottom/West End Community Relations

The George Washington University has forged a strong sense of community with our Foggy Bottom neighbors, launching a variety of partnerships that underscore shared interests and needs. Through the neighborhood’s FRIENDS group, which was formed in 2002 with little more than a vague goal of establishing a positive dialogue between the University and the community, we facilitate open communication and cooperation. Today FRIENDS has grown to over 400 participants who collaborate on the annual Foggy Bottom/West End Neighborhood Block Party and other community programs and events.

GW also sponsors a Neighborhood web site, designed from a neighbor’s perspective as an avenue for discovering our programs and services, notices of community events, updates on campus development and contacts for inquiries. And our Discover GW pocket guide lists dozens of resources for our Foggy Bottom/West End neighbors. These include library access, free technology, training and assistance and a course audit program. For more information on Community Relations, to receive Discover GW and to be added to the Friends listserv, please email discover@gwu.edu.

Events

The George Washington University’s Foggy Bottom/West End Campus is home to dozens of events that build community and forge friendships among students, faculty and our neighbors. For many annual celebrations, the planning is half the fun. 

Annual Neighborhood Block Party – Every October, GW hosts a block party, planned together with our Foggy Bottom/West End neighbors. In past years, more than 3,000 guests and 120 vendors joined in, creating a festival of live entertainment, free food and services—such as health screenings offered by GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences students and staff.

Spring BBQ – GW launches barbeque season each May with an outdoor gathering of neighbors, city officials and GW students and staff. City council members serve as “celebrity grill masters,” serving up barbeque for more than 120 attendees. The barbeque also features “Winning Neighbor” awards given to students nominated by community members for helping them in some way throughout the academic year.

Senior Prom – This cross-cultural, multigenerational celebration has become a great GW tradition, gathering 250 senior citizens from across the district for dinner, dancing and entertainment. Led by more than 120 student volunteers, the prom is a collaboration by GW’s Office of Community Service and Office of Government, International and Community Relations office, D.C. agencies such as the Department of Aging and the Department of Parks and Recreation and members of the D.C. City Council.

Generating Economic Activity

The George Washington University is an economic engine as well as an academic and cultural resource for the Washington area. More than 2,000 faculty members and nearly 20,000 students make their academic home at our Foggy Bottom/West End and Mount Vernon campuses. In excess of 21,000 GW alumni live and/or work in the District. Providing more than 13,000 D.C.-based full-time and part-time jobs—including jobs for student employees—GW consistently ranks among the district’s top private employers.

As a result, GW’s broad, profound and positive impact on the District of Columbia’s economy carries an estimated value of close to $1 billion a year. That, in turn, spurs additional indirect economic activity totaling more than $285 million. The University spends about 70 percent of its budget in the district, through a combination of salaries for thousands of local employees; academic research projects; purchases and payments to district-based vendors; educational programs; student support services; and taxes.

Serving Communities in Need

The George Washington University creates and participates in public service and civic engagement efforts that take full advantage of our knowledge and ability to respond to educational, health and social needs. Whether joining established service programs or launching our own signature efforts, GW cultivates a strong spirit of community engagement.

GW students contribute over 150,000 volunteer hours per year through dozens of community partnerships, such as The Neighbor’s Project, SJT Scholars and DC Reads. The Princeton Review counts GW among the nation’s top socially aware schools in “Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement.”

Investing in a Vibrant City

The George Washington University makes enormous contributions to the social and economic fabric of the District of Columbia, partnering with the city to enrich the quality of life in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood and beyond. With the rise in the university’s stature, GW is committed to ensuring that the district shares in its success.

Working with our neighbors, GW earned broad-based support for our 20-Year Foggy Bottom Campus Plan to redevelop the former GW Hospital site, into the Avenue, a vibrant gathering place—a model of mixed-use, transit-oriented development. The project’s community amenities include a neighborhood grocery store, public courtyard, pedestrian retail plaza, environmentally friendly design (including more than a half-acre of green-roof components) and affordable housing.

In addition to these physical amenities, GW’s diverse programs enhance the community’s security and emergency-response capabilities, nurture artistic talent and stimulate cultural exchange. We also sponsor major athletic events in 23 intercollegiate sports and provide public affairs seminars both live and on the air. 

A Community of Learning

The George Washington University inspires and nurtures a community of learning, with ten schools and colleges spanning the breadth of scientific and social understanding. Our faculty and students draw upon the city’s rich array of institutions and resources, from the World Bank to the Smithsonian Institution, while giving back to the community through collaboration and professional practice. For example:

  • GW law students train in the school’s nine clinics, advancing the rights of consumers, immigrants, patients and others by taking on cutting-edge and precedent-setting cases.
  • GW’s Center for Excellence in Public Leadership blends academic research with real-world experience as it trains city agency managers and community leaders who advance social progress for the District of Columbia.

GW In & Of D.C.

The George Washington University is an integral part of Washington, D.C., a constant source of innovation, information and energetic community service. Not only do our faculty, staff and students live and work here, many are dedicated to enhancing and improving the quality of life in the city. GW has established unique partnerships with D.C. schools including: Ballou High School, Duke Ellington High School, Eastern High School and The School Without Walls. 

Learn more about our:

Government & Community Relations

Our Community

All great cities have great universities. With deep roots in the District of Columbia, the George Washington University is invested in the success and vitality of the Washington metropolitan area and the well-being of its residents. We actively share our resources and cultivate collaboration with the communities surrounding all three of our campuses, including Foggy Bottom, Mount Vernon and our Virginia Science & Technology campuses, enhancing our collective quality of life and advancing our common goals.

Government Relations at GW

The George Washington University’s students, faculty and alumni lend a wealth of intellectual capital to Washington’s policy deliberations, whether they occur in the White House, the U.S. Congress, the D.C. and Virginia governments, the courts or the hundreds of agencies, associations, foundations and think tanks throughout the region. GW infuses Washington’s government-related institutions with its research, experience, human capital and an army of dedicated interns.

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Copyright

Proprietary Rights in Web site Content; Limited License

All content on the GW Web site, including designs, text, graphics, pictures, video, information, applications, software, music, sound and other files, and their selection and arrangement (the "Web site Content"), is the property of the University or its licensors with all rights reserved.  You may occasionally copy individual items of the Web site solely for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that you keep all copyright or other proprietary notices intact.

Trademarks

The University Web site and any University graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, scripts and service names are registered trademarks or trade dress of the University in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Copyright Complaints

We respect the intellectual property rights of others. If you are an owner of intellectual property and you believe your intellectual property has been improperly posted or distributed via this Web site, please notify us by sending an email to copyright@email.gwu.edu or by sending a notice by U.S. Mail to: 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 250, Washington DC 20052, Attention: Legal Department. In your e-mail or letter, you will need to include all of the notice elements listed in the DMCA at 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3). Please be aware that the DMCA makes copyright owners liable if they materially misrepresent that a user's content is infringing.

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GW is located in Washington DC.  You agree that any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement or any content posted to a GW Web site, including copies and republication thereof, whether based in contract, tort, statutory or other law, will be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, excluding its conflicts of law provisions. You further consent to the personal jurisdiction of and exclusive venue in the federal and state courts located in and serving the District of Columbia as the legal forum for any such dispute.