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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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At event, Knapp celebrates alumni in local government

This post was written by Hatchet Reporter Ariel Feldman.

University President Steven Knapp joined members of the D.C. Council and other government workers Tuesday for conversation, cocktails and chili dogs, celebrating what they all had in common – a connection to GW.

The event, held at Ben’s Next Door, an offshoot of Ben’s Chili Bowl, celebrated alumni in public service and marked the unveiling of the Ben’s “Wall of Fame,” a series of ten signed photos of local elected officials now tacked on the wall at Ben’s Next Door, an extension of the famed Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Alumni now working in local government gathered at the event, which stressed the importance of public service efforts. The focus of the night was a 10-minute video highlighting the successes of GW’s contributions to public service both nationally and internationally.

Alumni in the D.C. government include D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray and Director of the Department of Health Pierre Vigilance.

“It is important to have events like this that recognize what people accomplish, because they then become models that inspire others,” Knapp said.

“Particularly as an educational institution, we need to make a connection between generations,” he added. “By presenting to the community the idea of public service, we’re continually trying to fill our worldwide and lifelong community aspirations.”

The night also featured multiple performances from the GW Gospel Choir and brief speeches from Councilmembers Marion Barry, Mary Cheh, Jim Graham, Michael Brown and Harry Thomas.

Bernard Demczuck, assistant vice president of government relations, emceed the evening and promoted public service, saying, “This is an occasion to think about what it means to perform public service. Service has become a core value of this university…and it all starts with people inspiring people.”

Councilmember Harry Thomas, D-Ward 5, whose director of constituent services is a GW graduate, spoke of the University’s influence.

“It’s hard not to be a part of GW, because it is such an asset to our community,” Thomas said.

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