News Briefs

CSAS names new Welling professor

The Columbian School of Arts and Sciences has named political scientist and author John Kingdon a Welling professor. He will begin a two-year stint with the University this semester.

Kingdon will deliver the first of his lectures, “Monica and the American Political System: Reflections on What it All Means,” in the spring. He will have to give one lecture each year of his term.

He said he plans to focus the lecture not so much on Lewinsky herself but on how the controversy has affected the system, which he described as “bruised.”

“This will reverberate for a long time,” Kingdon said, especially noting Clinton’s legacy. He said the scandals of Clinton’s two terms will overshadow Clinton’s image as the savior of the Democratic Party.

Kingdon’s works include Congressmen’s Voting Decisions, a look at how legislators vote on the floor, and Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policy, which GW’s political science department Chair Jeffrey Henig called “a genuine classic.”

Kingdon said he approaches the study of politics by combining “theoretical interest in political science with an interest in studying the real world.” He said he does not espouse a political ideology, but has served as a guest scholar six times, starting in 1969 at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Kingdon is coming to GW after a 33-year tenure at the University of Michigan’s political science department. There, he served as the department’s chair and was a member of the American Political Science Review‘s editorial board. He retired in 1998.

-Dan Catchpole


Mount Vernon officially welcomes Women’s Center

The soft notes of an acoustic guitar reverberated in the background as students, administrators, professors and Mount Vernon alumnae socialized at the grand opening of the new GW Women’s Center on the Mount Vernon campus Monday.

The opening ceremonies, held in the center, culminated months of struggles to create a place for women at GW.

Heather McKee Hurwitz, one of the founders of the center, called its creation a “hard-won triumph” and a vital part of the University.

“GW would not be a millennium-ready institution without the addition of a women’s center,” Hurwitz said.

Mount Vernon Executive Dean Grae Baxter said the opening was a “landmark event” for both the Mount Vernon campus and the University as a whole.

Diane Bell, the new director of the women’s studies program, said she believes the opening of the Women’s Center will be what Virginia Woolf called “a room of one’s own.”

“You have the room of your own,” Bell said. “You have the place to write. Now all you need is the steady stipend. The energy here seems to say to me that the world is in really good hands.”

Baxter said the Women’s Center had received an anonymous $675 donation from University administrators to help run the center and plan programming.

Hurwitz said she hopes people will return for the programs the center will host.

“Please come back often,” Hurwitz said to those assembled in the center. “Come back for our programs or just to chill and hang out.”

Baxter promised the members of the center that she will preserve the vitality of the Women’s Center but also issued a challenge to those in the room.

“I pledge to you, this center will be the heart of our community life out here,” Baxter said. “But I ask you all to keep (the center) full of people, intelligence, debate, love and community. I know you will.”

-Theresa Crapanzano

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