1904 to 1912: Events

January 23, 1904
Congress grants charter to the George Washington University. Baptist affiliation of Columbian University dropped as GW becomes non-sectarian. Trustees unanimously approve name change in May.

June 22, 1904
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences incorporated; Professor William Allen Wilbur becomes first dean.

Fall 1904
School year begins with 1,243 students in six schools: Columbian College, Graduate School, Medicine, Dentistry, Law and Jurisprudence and Diplomacy schools.

October 5, 1904
First issue of The GW Hatchet published. F.S. Hemmick is the first editor-in-chief. The Hatchet publishes weekly on Wednesdays until 1967.

1905
The National College of Pharmacy merges with GW by act of Board of Trustees. The school is housed at 808 I Street until 1918, and it was discontinued in 1964.

February 12, 1905
The University Annual becomes The Mall, the winning entry in a contest held by the editor-in-chief to rename the yearbook. In 1908, the yearbook is renamed The Cherry Tree.

February 22, 1905
At the first winter convocation, the seal and colors of the University are adopted. Buff and blue were colors of George Washington’s military uniform.

Fall 1905
The Department of Politics and Diplomacy opens, replacing the School of Jurisprudence and Diplomacy.

Fall 1905
Robert I. Moore becomes editor-in-chief of The Hatchet and The Mall for next two years.

1906
First season of GW men’s basketball. The team defeats Georgetown twice and goes to the Southern Conference Championship, where they lose to Virginia.

Fall 1906
GW Medical School admits the first woman, Alice W. Downey, in twenty years.

September 1907
The University “women’s building,” located near 1538 I Street, becomes a social center for young women.

1908
GW football, led by coach Fred Nielsen, makes headlines by defeating University of Maryland 77 – 0. The team won the South Atlantic Championship. Latin removed from required curriculum for B.A. students.

Spring 1909
Needham presents honorary degrees to Former President Theodore Roosevelt and Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes.

1909-1910
Even after large budget cuts, GW begins operating in a $50,000 deficit. Needham told a professor, “figures do not lie,” as he defended his financial decisions. The professor replied, “No, Mr. President, but liars figure.” Resignations from the Board of Trustees follow, in protest.

April 27, 1910
Needham resigns as University president after U.S. Attorney General’s Office investigates charges of funds mismanagement. By the end of Needham’s term in office, the debt had grown to $458,000.

November 30, 1910
Charles Herbert Stockton, Rear Admiral, United States Navy, elected ninth president of GW.

1910-1911
Stockton cuts expenses to the bone. GW forced to sell all property at 15th and H streets for $550,000, and courses meet in rented townhouses. Professors salaries are also cut and tuition increased.

1912
Theodosia Darling Seibold Nelson, class of 1914, organizes a women’s
basketball team.

June 6, 1912
Stockton borrows money from Riggs Bank to buy property at 2023 G Street in Foggy Bottom (present-day Lisner Hall). The College of Arts and Sciences relocates and other departments follow.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.