The GW community will celebrate the inauguration of the country’s next president at one of the most prestigious venues in town.
GW is set to host its fifth inaugural ball at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on January 20, 2009, the same night many other inaugural balls will be held around town, said Michael Freedman, vice president of communications.
“There’s usually no room to walk around or breathe (at the other balls),” Freedman said. “We decided we would do it up right for our students.”
GW’s first inaugural ball, held in 1993, celebrated the inauguration of former president Bill Clinton. At the time, the University operated the new president’s transition offices and provided space for media covering Clinton, Freedman said.
“This was part of a strategy at the time to raise visibility and awareness of GW,” Freedman said. “At the time, there wasn’t much of a sense of place about GW.”
He said the last ball in 2005 was the “largest social event conducted by GW” to date with more than 4,000 people in attendance. The inaugural event, which cost between $65 and $75, included dancing in four ballrooms, food and even magicians.
“It became a very hot ticket,” Freedman said. “It completely sold out.”
He added, “Without question we knew we wanted to do it again in 2009.”
Freedman said the presidential inauguration would be an exciting time for GW politicos.
He said, “If you like politics at all, next year (is) nirvana.”