GW’s Fifth Annual Capitol Hill Alumni Reception welcomed GW alumni Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, D-Puerto Rico, to their new positions on the Hill on Wednesday in the Dirksen Senate Office building.
More than 100 guests attended, including students, alumni, congressmen, faculty and administrators. University President Steven Knapp and alumni Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., were keynote speakers.
Conrad graduated with an MBA from GW in 1975 and Stearns has a degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Knapp discussed GW’s involvement in veteran’s programs and noted Stearns’ service as an Air Force veteran. GW estimates they will have a $2.5 million contribution to aid veterans for the upcoming academic year.
Stearns attributed part of his professional success to his education and experiences at GW.
“As a congressman, the amount of things you can do for the country are immeasurable, and this results from an education at GW,” Stearns said. “At GW, you have to work really hard. There is lots of competition and students dedicated to learning.”
He added, “When I was a student I had to take a trolley for 30 to 45 minutes every day to go to class, so a GW education is really a compliment to one’s work ethic and dedication.”
Warner, a former governor of Virginia who was elected to the Senate in the fall, emphasized that using the resources D.C. has to offer is key to getting the most of a GW education.
“GW gave me the experience, the confidence to try out my passions,” he said.
Warner, who graduated with a BA in 1977, was the first person in his family to attend college.
“I am very proud of GW’s ever-expanding role in D.C. in developing research capabilities and getting involved in policy roles in the city,” Warner said.