At GW, we know history. Founded in 1821 through an Act of Congress, we have fulfilled George Washington’s vision of an institution in the nation’s capital dedicated to educating and preparing future leaders. Our students have shaped and celebrated the quintessential moments that make the GW experience truly unique. Our traditions are rooted in history and will show you why you chose GW, from the first day you’re here until the last.
Where You'll Start
Celebrate Your First Night
After move in, we welcome all new and returning students to celebrate arriving to campus and starting the new academic year at First Night. There are many activities, food and even a movie on University Yard. Plus, there's no better way to start your time at GW than by meeting thousands of your fellow students.
Civic Leaders from Day One
Our students embody the spirit of service. We officially welcome you to GW Convocation and Day of Service, a day where you'll give back across Washington, D.C., with your entire class. Whether you're planting gardens or repainting schools, your service counts at GW.
Represent the Best of George Washington
The Vern Harvest is a fun fall event held annually on the Mount Vernon Campus Quad. The Vern Harvest is a great opportunity to relax with family and friends. Featuring pumpkin carving, arts and crafts, yard games, friendly contests, music, and more, this event is one for the whole family to celebrate with the Mount Vernon community.
Veteran's Day Wreath Laying
Leaders from GW Veterans and GW's administration highlight GW's dedication to past, present, and future Veterans.
Midnight Breakfast is an annual tradition that invites students to take a break from studying for final exams and enjoy some food and fun! Faculty and staff volunteer and connect with students throughout the event by serving food or hosting an activity.
The End is Just Your Beginning
Graduate Like No One Else
As the only university lucky enough to hold our Commencement on the National Mall, our graduates celebrate like no one else can. You’ll take your first steps as a GW alum, listen to a world-class speaker and throw your cap in the air with the nation’s most recognizable landmarks and monuments as the backdrop.
Apart from donning your cap and gown for school celebrations and University Commencement, you can clink a glass with your classmates at the Senior Class Toast, attend Commencement Fairs and more to end your GW career on the highest note.
Come Back to Campus
Each fall we welcome back thousands of GW alumni to campus during Alumni & Families Weekend to celebrate and reconnect. Depending on the year they graduated, some alumni can participate in special reunion events.