GW President plans for class of 2004

For the class of 2004 GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg envisions a stronger undergraduate community through better academic facilities, improved recreational accommodations and student housing among the best in the country.

Trachtenberg said the incoming freshman class should look forward to attending an increasingly exciting, competitive institution, better opportunities and smarter classmates.

Among his plans to provide improved on-campus social opportunities, Trachtenberg said he foresees the possibility of turning the Quigley’s building, located on the corner of 21st and G streets, into an ice cream shop.

With its central location, Quigley’s could serve as a social center for students, he said.

Trachtenberg said the renovations, which have a 60/40 chance of becoming a reality, would begin in two years. The Geography Department, which currently resides in the structure that once was a popular drug store, would receive equal or better facilities if required to move, Trachtenberg said.

The class of 2004 will be the beneficiary of 12 years of construction, Trachtenberg said. But they also have to live with buildings that are yet to come.

Trachtenberg said one of his objectives is to require all freshmen and sophomores to live in GW housing. While he said there is no specific time frame for the new policy, freshman and sophomores will have to live on campus as soon as we have the space. He said his goal is to have 80 percent of undergraduates living on campus.

I’m concerned with the disproportionate number of undergraduates living all around the city, Trachtenberg said.

He said the construction of new buildings and the enhancement of existing facilities will help build a stronger community because more undergraduates will be lured on campus.

With the construction of new academic facilities, including the School of Media and Public Affairs and a new building for the Elliot School, Trachtenberg said students will benefit from vastly improved academic facilities.

Unlike the previous year, Trachtenberg said he thinks no freshman classes will be scheduled in the piano lounge of Thurston Hall.

Trachtenberg first arrived in the District in 1962. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, a law degree from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, Trachtenberg worked for the Department of Education. Trachtenberg said he remembers taking advantage of the city’s cultural institutions, such as attending art openings at the Corcoran Art Gallery.

I’d call up a date, see the show and then go out for white wine and Italian food, Trachtenberg said. (Living in Washington) is one of life’s great opportunities.

In 2003 Trachtenberg’s current five-year contract with the University expires, which could leave the incoming class with a new president before they graduate. But Trachtenberg, who became president in 1988, said if he were to make a decision on whether to return now, he would stay on another five years.

As for rumors that Vice President Al Gore is considering him for the Secretary of Education post if the Democrats win the White House in November, Trachtenberg said he is flattered but the possibility is a long shot.

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