GW’s oddities

As orientation-goers wander around campus, new students will find a mix of sculptures, gardens and statues throughout GW.

Each year GW dedicates new pieces of art throughout campus, in an effort to continue the promotion of art and to make the campus beautiful. The University generally honors the requests of their donors.

Here is a lesson on the sites of the campus .

The Hippo, 21 and H Streets: The bronze statue, a gift to the class of 2000 from President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg in 1996, marks the center of campus. According to legend, a hippopotamus once grazed in the shallow waters of the Potomac River. George and Martha Washington, watching from their porch, believed the hippopotamus brings hope and good luck. The Hippo is GW’s unofficial mascot.

The Rose Garden, 21st and H, Streets, University Yard: The Rose Garden, which has been relocated several times, first began during President Cloyd Heck Marvin’s tenure 1927-1959. When in full bloom, the garden boasts over 75 different types of roses. In a partnership with All-American Rose Selections Inc., of Chicago, GW displays roses for the upcoming year. Don’t pick the roses though, they are carefully guarded and cared for by rose man, Gregory Creek.

Bust of George Washington, four locations around the campus perimeter: Donated in the early 1980’s by medical school alumnus Dr. David Fairbanks. The busts adorn the perimeter of campus: the corners of 23rd and F Streets, 21st and Eye Streets, 23rd and Eye Streets, and 24th and F Streets. Made by Dr. Fairbanks’ father, the sculptures are a replication of the bust of George Washington found in the State House of Virginia in Richmond.

Ubeity, Hall of Government: The limestone sculpture was a gift from art collector and alumnus, Dr. Luther Brady. Ubeity was created by artist Joe Mooney and dedicated Oct.22, 1998. Ubiety, an allegorical figure, means existing in space.

Kogan Plaza, across from Marvin Center (formerly the mid-campus quad): Newly finished Kogan Plaza offers students a 50 feet by 90 feet open area with benches and a fountain. A $500,000 gift to the University from alumnus Barton H. Kogan helped make Kogan’s wish for more open-event space on campus possible. Completed during the fall of 1999, Kogan Plaza is one of the most popular student hangouts on campus during the day. Its dim lights at night also attract romantic walks.

Joyce, in front of the UPD building: This colorful piece of art, donated by Sam Maitin, was dedicated to Maitin’s sister May 2000. At the dedication ceremony Maitin said the sculpture is a joyful piece and an orchestration of color.

Sources:G. David AndersonLenore MillerGail Ferace

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