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GW in History

25 Years Ago

On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, an attack that also wounded Press Secretary James Brady and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy. They received life-saving treatment at GW Hospital. Ten years later, Reagan received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from the University. Today, the Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine at the GW Medical Center works to improve research and education in emergency medicine.

50 Years Ago

“The University has acquired the so-called ‘port-hole’ portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale, bringing to nine the number of fine art works of Washington owned by the University,” reports the 1956 Alumni Review. The portrait was painted before 1850. The first portrait of the type was painted by Peale between 1823 and 1824, and purchased by Congress, according to the article. The University’s portrait was placed in the President’s Office.

100 Years Ago

“The discussion of the class pin, usually an occasion of much violence and severing of friendship, was carried on in the most peaceful fashion and without any hard feeling” in February 1906, according to the Hatchet. Students elected to adopt the previous year’s design, changing only the numerals.

The Magazine gratefully acknowledges the assistance of University Archives in the identification of interesting historical information. Readers wanting to learn more about GW’s history can find the University Archives Web site by accessing The site’s Historical Almanac is especially informative.