Student Speaker Competition 2012

The deadline has been extended to Thursday, March 8, 2012!

The George Washington University Office of University Events is holding an open competition for the 2012 Commencement student speaker.


  • Any student (undergraduate, graduate, on-campus, distance learning, etc.) who has completed or will complete graduation requirements after May 15, 2011 (i.e. students who earned their degrees in Fall 2011 or will earn their degree in Spring 2012 or Summer 2012) is eligible.
  • Good academic standing


Click here to submit the following materials by March 1, 2012:

  1. Biography (150 words or less)
  2. Video link (Youtube, vimeo, etc.) – speech three minutes in duration
  3. Note: This video is an audition designed to evaluate the students’ speaking and presentation skills, so the speech in the video should be the speech that the student will give on the National Mall.
  4. Text of your speech

Up to ten finalists will be asked to audition in person (or live Skype) their speeches to the Commencement Student Speaker Committee on April 20, 2012. The committee will select a winner shortly thereafter.


  • Six reserved seating Commencement tickets on the National Mall
  • Photo with Commencement speaker
  • Invitation to special receptions for self and two guests
  • Commemorative Commencement photo CD

Questions, comments or concerns, contact Office of University Events at 202-994-7129 or

Fitness & Wellness Programs

Lerner Health and Wellness Center Group Fitness Class

The Department of Campus Recreation manages an array of fitness and wellness programs and services. These programs and services – many of them free – are available to GW students, faculty and staff with memberships to the Lerner Health and Wellness Center.

Fitness Programs

Group Fitness
Certified group fitness instructors will lead you through exercises to reduce stress, increase energy levels and keep motivated.

Extreme Training
These high-intensity training sessions are designed to burn calories and increase strength, endurance, speed, agility and core stabilization.

Fitness Assessments & Orientation
A complete medical/health history questionnaire and a 30-minute series of tests measure or provide the following:

  • Resting heart rate/blood pressure
  • Body composition
  • Cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  • Muscular strength and endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Introduction to the center’s fitness equipment

Personal Training

Certified personal trainers design the individual exercise program you need to achieve personal fitness goals. The trainers take into account your fitness goals, your fitness level and your experience – and they keep you motivated.

Wellness Programs

Campus Recreation Incentive Program
Work out, earn points and win prizes! Participants earn points and prizes for participating in a variety of fitness and wellness activities.

Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness is a dynamic process marked by change and growth. It is physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social and environmental. Understanding each dimension is vital in the pursuit of optimum health.

Nutrition Services
Working with your personal goals, a Certified Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant puts you on the path to a healthy lifestyle. Our Registered Dietitian is available to assist with your more in-depth dietary needs.

Massage Therapy
A certified massage therapist performs an hour-long massage. Current rates can be viewed on the Campus Recreation website.

Faculty/Staff Workshops
Learn proven stress management techniques through short, informative workshops and fun, interactive sessions. The workshops address time management and relaxation. They also take into consideration available fitness and nutrition services.

Many GW students want to stay active while in college but cannot commit to a varsity sport. Intramural and club sports may be the answer. They allow students to reap the health and wellness benefits of athletic competition – along with the fun – while remaining focused on academics and other aspects of GW life.

Club & Intramural Sports

Sport clubs are for students, faculty and staff who want more in-depth sports experience than is available through intramural sports or informal recreation. The club sports program lets participants learn new skills, practice regularly with club members and compete against other clubs. A number of GW’s club teams compete regionally and nationally.   Intramurals at GW range from team sports to individual sports.

Health & Wellness

“GWellness” describes the George Washington University's holistic approach to fitness and health. It reflects our commitment to providing a GW experience that is well rounded, benefiting the whole person. While GW students, faculty and staff work hard to achieve intellectual development, Campus Recreation works just as hard to help the GW community develop and maintain physical fitness and wellness through healthy lifestyle choices.

GW’s Campus Recreation office offers students, faculty and staff a roster of programs and activities aimed at keeping you fit and active at every stage of life. Whether you participate in a club sport, take a group fitness class, enroll in a nutrition program or join an intramural sport offered through the Department of Campus Recreation, you’re on your way to "GWellness."

Our colleagues in the Physics Department put it this way: “Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. Bodies in motion tend to stay in motion.” From aerobics classes and wellness programs to sports clubs and intramural sports, we offer something for everyone.

Work at Commencement

Please note: 

All appointments for interviews to work at Commencement on the National Mall are currently taken.  If more appointments become available, we will include a link to sign-up on this website.  Thank you for your interest in the Commencement student staff positions.

Work at Commencement on the National Mall!

If you want to…

* see your friends graduate,
* earn extra money before summer begins,
* extend the stay in your residence hall until May 21 at no charge, and
* be part of a university tradition

…then a Commencement Student Staff position is right for you!

The Office of University Events is looking for student staffers to work at Commencement on the National Mall on Sunday, May 20, 2012.

Staff must have the following qualities:

  • Outgoing demeanor and pleasant disposition
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to lift 30 lbs
  • Stand for long periods of time
  • Own a cell phone

Staff duties include, but are not limited to, the following tasks:

  • Greet guests in a welcoming manner
  • Assist guests and patrons with seating and providing information to ensure safe and enjoyable experience, inside and outside the venue
  • Coordinate shuttles
  • Breakdown chairs
  • Door/venue access control and crowd control
  • Other duties as assigned

Please note:

  • Commencement will be held at the National Mall, which is a series of grassy fields surrounded by gravel walkways
  • Positions may be located inside or outside, which may require employees to work in inclement weather
  • Attire - All employees will be required to wear clean tennis shoes and either khaki pants or khaki shorts long enough to reach the tip of your longest finger
  • Commencement student staff wage is $8.25 an hour; work study students may apply.

Interviews will be held on weekdays between March 19-30.

For more information, please contact University Events at 202-994-7129 or

GW Online Networks

Check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and more.

Interfaith Baccalaureate

Commencement Weekend

Class of 2012 graduates, families, and friends

Join President Knapp for a ceremony of thoughtful reflection on the day before Commencement.

Saturday, May 19, 2012
9:30-10:45 a.m.

Reception to follow

Western Presbyterian Church
2401 Virginia Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20009

Keynote Speaker: The Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell
Director, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

President Barack Obama named the Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell director of the Department of Education’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships on Dec. 13, 2010. Its mission is “to promote student achievement by connecting schools and community-based organizations, both secular and faith-based, as we build a culture of educational excellence.” The center also works as a part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Centers at 11 other agencies to more effectively serve Americans in need. Read more.


  • Performances from the George Washington University Music Department, including
  • Meditations from clergy representing various faith traditions
  • Reflections from graduating GW seniors.

Open to all members of the GW community.

Register your attendance at

Alumni Career Services

The tools and resources to Build Your Career and Help Fellow Colonials are at your fingertips!

Commencement Fair 2012

Marvin Center, Ground Floor & the GW Bookstore
800 21st Street, NW

Wednesday, March 21, to Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hours of operation: 
Wednesday and Thursday:  9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday:  9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday:  11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Top 10 things to do at the fair:

1. Save $25 in online shipping charges by pre-ordering your cap and gown at the GW Bookstore.  In addition, order personalized announcements, purchase a class ring and/or a diploma frame.

2. Double check your diploma name and mailing address at Colonial Central.

3. Pose for the Cherry Tree yearbook senior portraits (undergraduates only).  Portrait sittings hours:  10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Enter drawings at the Grad Week table, GWBookstore and STA Travel

5. Give to your Senior Class Gift Campaign and attend Senior Night on Thursday,
March 22, from 5-7 p.m. at Tonic

6. Find out more about the graduation survey and ticket distribution

7. Preview Grad Week events

8. Learn more about the Young Alumni Network

9. Refreshments from 12–2 p.m. each day

10. Sign the Green Graduation Pledge and learn more about Green Move-Out

Don't Miss:

Resume Madness!
Tuesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom

Monthly Cultural Heritage Celebrations

The Multicultural Student Services Center leads the GW community in participating in a variety of monthly cultural heritage celebrations throughout the academic year. These monthly celebrations include:

  • Asian Heritage
  • Latino Heritage
  • Women's History
  • Black History
  • Native American Heritage