Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Piecing Together: Last year’s news


Dining programs overhauled
Years of criticism for fast food and a lack of variety prompted the campus eatery J Street to revamp its dining options. Wendy’s and Chik-fil-A and were replaced by new Sodexo venues like the Metro Diner, the Coffee Stop and Thyme. Students’ dining plans also changed; sophomores are no longer mandated to spend $500 per semester on meals at the Marvin Center dining hub and a handful of other GW-affiliated eateries.

Knapp’s salary inches past $1 million mark
University President Steven Knapp joined the top-paid tier of college presidents nationwide as his salary totaled more than $1 million for the first time, making him the highest-paid president among private colleges in the District. The Board of Trustees’ compensation committee determined his $905,277 salary, plus $148,359 in other benefits, based on Knapp’s skills and experience.


Professor arrested for groping two 16-year-old girls
School of Business professor Bartholomew Timm was arrested by National Gallery of Art police for sexually groping two high school girls on the buttocks. The officers detained Timm upon receiving reports that he inappropriately touched the girls, according to the police documents.


East Coast earthquake shakes campus

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A 5.9-magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Va. rattled the District, evacuating government buildings, including the White House and the Capitol. The quake cracked the marble of the Washington Monument, closing it indefinitely for repairs. Around Foggy Bottom, broken potted plants and collapsed shelves were among the few reported damages.

Hurricane prompts early move-in
Hurricane Irene toppled a tree onto Gelman Library, forcing the University to shut the building down for a day. A pipe burst in the sophomore residence hall the Dakota, dampening a room’s floor, but the campus avoided major damage. The University helped about 3,000 students move in a day early to avoid the brunt of the storm.


Strategic plan tops Knapp’s list of goals
University President Steven Knapp said a new strategic plan – construction on academic buildings, enhanced career advising services and greater campus diversity – would transform the University by 2020. The campus-wide strategic plan is set to be released this fall.

University debt peaks at $1.1 billion
The University’s debt increased by $100 million in 2011, compared to the $51.5 million of debt GW accumulated over the last decade. Executive Vice President and Treasurer Lou Katz said the University has increased borrowing in recent years to boost cash on hand, a back-up financial pool for unsteady economic climates.

GW ranks among top 50 colleges
The University broke into U.S. News and World Report’s top 50 colleges list for the first time since 1998. GW was ranked No. 50, moving up one spot from last year. The uptick reflected increased admissions selectivity, a rise in alumni giving and stronger ties with high school counselors.

Graduate student dies after assault
Patrick David Casey, a 33-year-old graduate student and Afghanistan war veteran, died after a physical assault off campus. The New York native entered an argument outside a McDonald’s restaurant when he was punched to the ground. He died four days later at GW Hospital. Friends and family described Casey as intelligent, funny and “a big teddy bear.”


Knapp’s contract renewed another five years
The Board of Trustees unanimously voted to extend University President Steven Knapp’s contract to 2017, commending his research, sustainability, strategic planning and fundraising efforts during his tenure. Knapp, 60, taught English at the University of California, Berkeley and served as provost at Johns Hopkins University before taking the helm as GW’s 16th president.


University to raze seven properties

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The iconic campus bar Froggy Bottom Pub, along with Thai Place, Panda Café and Mehran Restaurant, will relocate or shutter in early 2014, when GW bulldozes the block of townhouses along Pennsylvania Avenue to create a sleek new office building. Froggy owner Hien Bui said she hopes to open a nearly identical classic pub offering cheap beer, pizza and pho just off the Foggy Bottom Campus.


Obama visits for AIDS awareness
President Barack Obama announced $50 million of funding for HIV treatment and prevention programs at an event in Jack Morton Auditorium on the 23rd anniversary of World AIDS Day. The event included CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta and artists and activists Bono and Alicia Keys, as well as Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush addressed the audience via satellite.


Hundreds gather to remember grad student
Law and business student Benjamin Gupta, 28, who died in his sleep December 19, was remembered for his public service and compassionate spirit at a memorial service hosted by GW in January. Gupta’s professors, colleagues and classmates shared memories at the service, calling him a citizen of the world and admired his upbeat attitude and contagious energy. Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both spoke about Gupta, a longtime family friend.


Student life leader to retire
Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak announced he would step down this summer after 24 years of service. The administrator made his mark on GW, overseeing greater selectivity by the admissions office, expanding financial aid and fostering family involvement through Colonial Inauguration. He will take on a full-time teaching role in the Graduate School of Education and Human Development this fall.


GW hosts Clinton Global Initiative University

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An international conference hosted by Former President Bill Clinton and held at GW drew big names to campus, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, pop star Usher and Daily Show host Jon Stewart. The two-day conference, designed to help social entrepreneurs, drew 1,200 participants from across the world to GW for the weekend.

Gelman evacuated after reports of armed suspect with gun on campus
Law enforcement teams from the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Park Police and Metropolitan Police Department searched the library after a student reported seeing an individual changing clothes who matched the description of an armed suspect seen running from the White House earlier that night. The library reopened hours later after no suspect was found.

Federal Reserve head lectures at GW
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave four lectures to 30 hand-picked undergraduates. Bernanke briefed the School of Business students on the history of central banking in the U.S. and around the world, the Fed’s place in today’s economy and the most recent financial crisis during the first university appearance made by a sitting Federal Reserve chairman.


Konwerski to lead student life offices
One of the most recognizable faces in Rice Hall was tapped to head up the University’s student services offices. Peter Konwerski, who has overseen offices like the Center for Student Engagement and career services in his role as dean of students, will report directly to the provost next year when Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert Chernak retires from his post.


Columbian College leader to step down
Peg Barratt, the leader of University’s largest school, announced she would step down in the summer of 2013. The longest-serving dean in three decades of Columbian College of Arts and Sciences history was praised for increased hires, more fundraising and reformed academic advising during her tenure. But earlier in the semester, she faced harsh reviews from faculty, who criticized her vision and leadership. The alumna, 63, will move into a faculty position and teach psychology.

Plans set in motion for ‘superdorm’
The University will spend more than $2.5 million creating a design to merge the West End, the Schenley and Crawford Hall into a “superdorm” for 800 sophomores and juniors. Demolition will begin at the center of campus in 2013. During construction, the Foggy Bottom Campus will face a housing crunch, as the current sophomore and freshmen dorms holding a total of 550 students. More freshmen from the Class of 2017 could live on the Mount Vernon Campus to alleviate the squeeze. The University has not released a specific timeline or funding plan for the project.

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