GW Flag, Students on Stage, Freshman Day of Service



We don't just celebrate every four years —
GW journeys are filled with milestones,

and even our traditions are monumental.





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. As we celebrate our bicentennial year, our traditions rooted in history gain momentum and will show you why you chose GW, from the first day you’re here until the last. 

See All GW Events



Where You'll Start



GW students during First Night

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 Colonials.


Students painting during Freshman Day of Service

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


Fall Traditions 

Two women sitting in front of many pumpkins

Vern Harvest

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.

Soldier Saluting an American Flag

Veteran's Day Wreath Laying

Leaders from GW Veterans and GW's administration highlight GW's dedication to past, present, and future Veterans.

student playing an driving arcade game

Midnight Breakfast

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 

Students taking selfie with Senator Cory Booker during Commencement

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.


Three students smiling during Graduation Week

Celebrating Graduates

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.


Male and female alum posing with mascot George during Alumni Weekend event

Come Back to Campus

Each fall we welcome back thousands of GW alumni to campus during Alumni & Families Weekend to reconnect, choose from more than 60 events and add to our Colonial spirit. Depending on the year they graduated, some alumni can participate in special reunion events.


Marine One helicoptor over Commencement on the Mall

Rachael Mendez

Class of 2016
Major: Criminal Justice, Law and Society

No better way to end an amazing four years than with POTUS flying over our celebration #gwcommencement #onlyatgw”

- @rachaelannmendez




"Everyone loves a good photo booth #gwcw17 #5yearreunion #photobooth" - @cerurode


"Thank you @GWTweets for helping clean the park today!" - @AnacostiaNPS


who says college isn’t fun! - @alxesi


"you already know me s•a•g•e #springfling2017" - @rebecca_wallace


Welcome, President LeBlanc!


Welcome, President LeBlanc!


Welcome, President LeBlanc!


Welcome, President LeBlanc!