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George Washington University

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_University

The George Washington University (GW, GWU, or George Washington) is a private, coeducational research university located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on February 9, 1821, as the Columbian College in the District of Columbia. It is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia.

George Washington left fifty shares of the Potowmack Company in his estate for a national university in the District of Columbia. However, due to the company's financial status, the university never received the shares. In 1904, it changed its name to the George Washington University in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States.

The university awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in several disciplines through all of its ten different schools. GWU's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Elliott School of International Affairs, Milken Institute School of Public Health, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Nursing offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university also has specialized schools within colleges such as the School of Media and Public Affairs and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.

GWU is consistently ranked by The Princeton Review in the top "Most Politically Active" Schools. Many of the university's graduates have gone on to high positions within both the United States Government and in foreign governments. Notable alumni include former US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former First-Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. There are currently four George Washington University alumni serving in the United States Senate, nine serving in the United States House of Representatives, and ten serving as United States ambassadors.

The sports teams and current and former students in general are called "Colonials".

Baptist missionary and leading minister Luther Rice raised funds to purchase a site for a college to educate citizens from throughout the young nation in Washington, D.C. A large building was constructed on College Hill, which is now known as Meridian Hill, and on February 9, 1821, President James Monroe approved the congressional charter creating the non-denominational Columbian College in the District of Columbia. The first commencement in 1824 was considered an important event for the young city of Washington, D.C. In attendance were President Monroe, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, the Marquis de Lafayette (who was on a grant tour of America) and other dignitaries. During the Civil War, most students left to join the Confederacy and the college's buildings were used as a hospital and barracks. Walt Whitman was among many of the volunteers to work on the campus. Following the war, in 1873, Columbian College became the Columbian University and moved to an urban downtown location centered on 15th and H streets, NW.

George Washington, the university's namesake In 1904, Columbian University changed its name to the George Washington University in an agreement with the George Washington Memorial Association to build a campus building in honor of the first U.S. president. Neither the university nor the association were able to raise enough money for the proposed building near the National Mall; however, the institution retained the name. Eventually the association donated the remaining funds that had been raised to the university for the development of Lisner Auditorium.

The university moved its principal operations to the D.C. neighborhood of Foggy Bottom in 1912.

The George Washington University, like much of Washington, D.C., traces many of its origins back to the Freemasons. The Bible that the presidents of the university use to swear an oath on upon inauguration is the Bible of Freemason George Washington. Freemasonry symbols are prominently displayed throughout the campus including the foundation stones of many of the university buildings.

Many of the Colleges of the George Washington University stand out for their age and history. The Law School is the oldest law school in the District of Columbia. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is the 11th oldest medical school in the nation. The Columbian College was founded in 1821, and is the oldest unit of the university. The Elliott School of International Affairs was formalized in 1898.

Notable Alumni

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_George_Washington_University_people