The College Republicans celebrated their centennial anniversary Saturday night at the National Press Club with food, drinks, networking and Republican advocate Brad Blakeman.
Blakeman, who served on President Bush’s senior staff, offered advice to the audience that he learned from his own personal experience and that he now shares with his interns.
“Sometimes life gives you the ability to affect a lot of people and what you have to do is you have to do with a sense of responsibility and not take for granted what comes your way,” he said.
Blakeman is the president and CEO of Freedom’s Watch – an organization committed to fighting for mainstream conservative principles domestically and abroad. Although the organization is still in its infancy, he told the CR’s present that with some help, it is predicted to eventually grow to the size of its rival MoveOn.org.
“A chicken is worth more in its parts then its whole” Blakeman said, in reference to the organization’s need for partnership in order to achieve growth.
He said he is confident that Freedom’s Watch is going to succeed because it is a “do tank in a city of think tanks.”
Blakeman said the CR’s must remember their roots.
“Never forget where you are and where you came from,” he said.
CR Chair Chris Brooks admitted that the CR’s were close to forgetting about their roots.
“We almost missed our own birthday,” said Brooks, a senior. “Two years ago we really didn’t have a sense of the history of this organization.”
He added, “It wasn’t until we needed an idea for a T-shirt design that we stumbled upon our birthday.”
The GW chapter of the College Republicans was formed in 1908 with the purpose of supporting presidential candidate William Howard Taft, Brooks said.
He said the organization has changed much in the past 100 years. In 2005, the GW organization was named the “best chapter of the year” by the College Republicans National Committee and earned the title of “best state chapter” in the country this year.
“It has grown into one of the largest, one of the most organized and one of the most effective student organizations at GW and is recognized as one of the best, if not the best chapters in the nation,” Brooks said.
Brooks, who had started planning this event two years ago, seemed pleased with the outcome claiming that the event “well-exceeded expectations” and that the turnout was great, citing alumni who came in from as far away as Ohio.
“The effort and time put into the event was well worth it,” said sophomore Connor Walsh, CR political director.
Blakeman himself praised the event saying it was “awesome” and “with lots of energy and congeniality.”
“The organization deserves lots of credit of keeping both the past and present members involved,” he said.
On Saturday night, conservative speaker Ann Coulter was at GW. Brooks said he did not think Coulter’s presence had an affect on turnout for the centennial celebration.
“Ann Coulter is old news to us,” he said. ” The College Republicans brought Ann Coulter to campus two years ago.”