News Briefs

GW buys Underwriters building

The University purchased the Association of Life Underwriters building on the 1900 block of F Street Friday, to use it for office space eventually.

A University spokesman confirmed the building had been purchased but said its current occupants will remain there for at least a year to 18 months.

When the University moves in, the building will be used for central office functions, although who will be moving there has not been determined, the spokesman said. The spokesman would not say the amount GW paid for the building.

The building is located on a block that has seen a large amount of growth by the University in recent years. The University is restoring two townhouses, one of which used to host the Uruguayan Embassy, into a new University Club. Thurston Hall and the F Street Club are also on that street.

Pushkin statue to be erected this fallGW announced it will erect a statue on campus in October to honor the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

The statue, a gift from the Russian-American Cultural Cooperation Foundation, will be located at the corner of H and 22nd streets.

It marks the 200th anniversary of Pushkin’s birth and is being placed in Washington to further cultural ties between the United States and Russia, according to a University press release.

Pushkin’s reformist ideas expressed in his Ode to Liberty and other works led to several years of internal exile and house arrest. His best known works include Eugene Onegin, Boris Godunov,Russlan and Ludmilla and The Queen of Spades, all of which became famous operas, according to a University press release. Pushkin’s life came to a tragic end at the age of 38 when he was killed by his enemies in a duel to defend his dignity.

U.S. and Russian diplomats attended a ceremony Friday honoring Pushkin and announcing the new statue.

Williams speaks at Law School Commencement

D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams addressed graduates of The GW Law School May 30, urging them to make a difference.

“Learning is a lifetime experience,” said Williams, who defeated Republican Carol Schwartz last November to replace the retiring Marion Barry. “It’s about learning values and truth, even the unpopular truth.”

Williams honored a D.C. firefighter who had died in the line of duty earlier in the day and received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He asked graduates to contribute to the District.

“Try politics, be a citizen, be a voter, be a champion,” Williams said. “Reject cynicism, and take part in the civic life of your community.”

GW hosts public-private partnership forum

GW hosted more than 200 local, nonprofit, private sector and foundation leaders last week to discuss strategies for partnerships between the public and private sectors.

The conference, sponsored by the District of Columbia Office of Grants Management and Development, included speeches by D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams and GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg.

“This conference will help the District in its efforts to develop a unified approach with the nonprofit and private sectors to maximize grant resources,” Williams said. “This is not just an exercise to identify vital activities, but a partnership to identify vision and exciting that vision.”

One panel, entitled “What Universities Want from a Partnership,” was moderated by Bernard Demczuk, GW assistant vice president for government relations.

History professor honored in Cincinnati

GW history Professor Leo Ribuffo received $4,500 from the General Society of Cincinnati to support his research as part of the George Washington Distinguished Professorship Program.

The award, which will be distributed over three years, will help Ribuffo write a book about cultural aspects of the Carter administration.

“Carter’s tenure marks the first modern Evangelical president,” Ribuffo said in a University press release. “One not afraid of punching hot-button topics like abortion.”

Ribuffo joined GW in 1973 and has written publications on American history and religion. The program, honoring Washington’s death and providing grants for educational programs tied to U.S. history, is one of several grants he has received. He has also received money from the American Council of Learned Societies and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Elliott School selects Japan-U.S. Relations chair

The Elliott School of International Affairs has selected Mike Mochizuki as the Japan-U.S. Relations Chair, beginning in July.

Mochizuki, a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Studies Program, has been a faculty member at the University of Southern California and Yale University. He is a specialist in Japanese politics and foreign policy, U.S.-Japan relations and East Asian security affairs, according to a University press release.

He was born in Kanazawa, Japan and received his degree in political science from Brown University. He also was a fellow at the University of Tokyo Faculty of Law and earned a doctoral degree from Harvard University.

An author of several publications, he is currently working on a new book, entitled “The New Strategic Triangle: China, Japan and the United States.”

Gelman to move collections

The main circulating collection of books at Gelman Library is being moved this summer in order to take advantage of a renovated sixth floor.

The collection was formerly housed on the lower level, fourth and fifth floors. It will now be housed on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors. The fourth floor will hold letters A through G, with the fifth floor housing H to PM and the sixth floor containing PN through Z.

Gelman officials expect the move to take about six weeks, and it began May 20. Small portions of the collection will be unavailable at various times during the move.

The sixth floor contains study areas in addition to stacks.

-Matt Berger

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