This is why you came to GW. Maybe you’ve brushed elbows with senators, eaten at the same restaurant as Wolf Blitzer or shopped at the Watergate Safeway with Condi, but today may very well be the pinnacle of a political junkie’s star-gazing aspirations.
Today, GW will be hosting five distinguished former secretaries of state in a panel discussion about the many challenges the next president will face. Tuning in on CNN will definitely be an option, but many GW students will get the chance to see Madeleine Albright, James Baker, Warren Christopher, Henry Kissinger and Colin Powell in person at Lisner Auditorium. This event is exactly what GW needs.
In this politically charged election season, GW needed to take advantage of its unique location and its politics-hungry student body, and with this event, the University has delivered. Not only were many students able to get tickets to see the discussion, some will also get the opportunity to contribute questions for the influential speakers to answer. Ticketing and advertising were also well-executed and, unlike some previous high-profile happenings, students who wanted tickets had advance knowledge of where and when to line up for their chance to score seats.
Even if politics isn’t your cup of tea, those interested in journalism will have the chance to see Christiane Amanpour, CNN special correspondent, and Frank Sesno, GW professor and CNN special correspondent, moderating the event. And even if neither politics nor journalism pique your interest, there’s no denying that this publicity is good for GW.
The University needs to follow up this home run with more programming that will keep GW in the political spotlight and make us the go-to campus in the District for political forums. Advance advertising could stir up a good buzz on campus and allow students unable to attend this discussion to plan ahead for the next.
We hope GW plans to roll out other high-profile events this season, both for the students and to enhance GW’s national image – after all, CNN shout-outs can’t hurt. In the meantime, congratulations to the University for putting together a political enthusiast’s dream forum.