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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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News release misstated intended use of profit

A University news release this summer misstated that profits from the sale of GW’s presidential house would go directly into the endowment.

Administrators said in interviews this week that the property, currently on the market for $4 million, would fund a renovation to Alumni House. The renovation is expected to cost several million dollars and the remainder of the profits will go into the endowment. The presidential home, where former University president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg lived for his tenure, is located on Bancroft Road in the Kalorama neighborhood.

This summer, University President Steven Knapp announced he planned to move into the Alumni House, located on 20th and F streets. The original release stated that “the University plans to sell the current president’s residence on Bancroft Place and return the proceeds from the sale to the University’s endowment.”

“It’s technically correct, but it’s not 100 percent of the proceeds,” said Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz. “I would have said it differently but look, the intention has never changed. We never planned to use the University operating costs to renovate (Alumni House).”

The Board of Trustees approved the Alumni House budget this summer, Katz said. He added the renovation, which includes major changes to the 158 year-old building, will cost less than the home for sale.

“We’re confident that the (Trachtenberg) house will more than support the cost of renovation,” he said.

The house is valued by the District at $3 million.

Tracy Schario, a University spokesperson, said she knew the profits were funding the Alumni House project and this was miscommunicated in the news release.

“I agree . that we didn’t make it clear that there was a correlation between the two properties,” Schario said. “I take responsibility for that.”

Trachtenberg’s house has been on the market since this fall, and Katz said it is not necessary that someone buy it before they pay for Alumni House renovations.

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