Celebrate GW

Celebrate George Washington; hashtag Celebrate GW

Celebrate the founding of the George Washington University and the legacy of our namesake.

Calendar of Events



Charter Day Trivia!

Friday, February 7, 2020
11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

The George Washington University was founded on February 9, 1821 by an Act of Congress. We are celebrating our Charter Day Anniversary with George Washington University trivia! On Friday, February 7th, GW students can visit @gwuniversity on Instagram for Charter Day Trivia and the chance to win a GW swag bag. 

Charter Day Quiz with copies of GW's charter





Exhibition Preview: George Washington and His World

Friday, February 7, 2020
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
GW Museum and Textile Museum

Step inside the world of George Washington with a new exhibit at the GW Museum and Textile Museum curated by the GW students in Professor Brunsman's History class. All are invited to this special exhibition preview which will feature refreshments and gallery talks by participating students. The exhibition will feature letters, prints and artifacts from the Washingtoniana Collection and remain on display through July 26, 2020.

Portrait - George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate





The Presidential Distinguished Event Series Presents...
CNN's John Avlon

Thursday, February 20, 2020
6:00 p.m.
Jack Morton Auditorium

Political strategist and anchor at CNN John Avlon will discuss his book Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations. Can George Washington’s 1796 prophetic message to fellow American citizens help us heal the current political climate and reunite the nation? This event is free for GW students but RSVP is required.

CNN's John Avlon





George's Birthday Weekend

Join the GW Community to celebrate GEORGE'S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND with GW Athletics! On Friday, February 21 at 2:00 p.m., GW Athletics will be having a pre-birthday celebration in Kogan Plaza with the GW Spirit Teams, free cupcakes, goodie bags, and of course George! 

On Saturday, February 22 GW Men's Basketball takes on La Salle at 4:00 p.m. where GW Athletics will be giving away custom t-shirts, party hats, and cake while supplies last. On Sunday, February 23 come cheer on GW Gymnastics at 1:00 p.m. in the Smith Center for their first-ever meet on the podium! Admission is free for all GW Students and all other fans can purchase tickets at getgwtix.com. See you there to #RaiseHigh! 

Basketball player and gymnast celebrating George's birthday






Annual Reading of Washington's 1796 Farewell Address

Monday, February 24, 2020
3:00 p.m.
U.S. Senate Chamber Gallery

George Washington's Farewell Address will be read on the Senate floor as part of an annual tradition. A senator has read the address every year since 1896. This year Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI., will do the honor. Washington's Farewell Address warns future generations of Americans about the dangers of partisanship on politics.

GW students on capitol hill




Other Happenings of Note 



“The George Washington University: Then and Now”

Step back into time and experience campus life through a digital photo montage that matches old campus photos with current locations. Can you find these locations on GW’s campus today? Take a selfie at these locations and tag #CelebrateGW.


before after

Woodhull House, 1912


before after

University Yard behind Lisner Library, circa 1950s


before after

Monroe Hall (Registration for Fall Semester), 1958


before after

Tonic at Quigley’s Pharmacy, 1969


before after

Marvin Center, 1970



Images from RG0031: University Historical Materials collection, Special Collections Research Center, GW Libraries

George Washington Behind the Scenes

The George Washington University’s Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection features objects relating to our nation’s first President and university namesake.

Washington’s Birthday or President’s Day?

The holiday is popularly known as President’s Day, but it is officially recognized as “Washington’s Birthday” through a Congressional bill passed in 1879. Ironically, the holiday will never fall on Washington’s actual birthday, February 22, as the third Monday in February cannot fall any later than February 21. The Monday Holiday Law, passed in 1968, creates 3-day weekends for federal holidays and moved Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday in February.

See the history of federally recognizing Washington’s Birthday.

Congressional Celebration of Washington’s Birthday

The first Congressional recognition of Washington’s Birthday, February 22, was in 1862 when Secretary of the Senate, John W. Forney, read George Washington’s Farewell Address to the people of the United States. In celebration of the centennial year of the Constitution’s ratification in 1888, the Senate’s presiding officer again read the Address on February 22.

The annual tradition of the Senate observing Washington’s Birthday began in 1896 and has continued every year since. A senator, chosen by the governing body and from alternate parties each year, reads the 7,641-word statement while the Congress is in session. At the conclusion of each reading, the senator inscribes his or her name in a black, leather-bound book maintained by the Secretary of the Senate.