Image of the Tempietto in Kogan Plaza during cherry blossom season

Traditions

Hippo

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.

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.