Virginia campus gets name alteration, rebranding

GW is rebranding its Virginia campus as the University’s Mecca for research and technology, starting by giving the campus a new name – The George Washington University Virginia Science and Technology Campus.

The change was announced at the Board of Trustees meeting Oct. 16 and reflects Virginia’s growth as a business and technology community, said Michele Hagans, chair of the Committee on External Relations.

The renaming came on the heels of an announcement that the Virginia campus – located in Loudon, Va. – is no longer the largest private institution in the state of Virginia. Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., surpassed GW with a fall 2009 enrollment of 11,500 residential students and a total enrollment of 37,000 students, including distance-learning programs.

“GW continues to enroll more graduate students in on-site programs than any other private university in Virginia,” said Craig Linebaugh, chief academic operating officer for the Virginia campus. “But we recognize that colleges and universities whose main campus is in Virginia may have larger enrollments, primarily in undergraduate programs.”

GW’s Virginia campus offers more than 20 graduate programs in business, engineering and applied science, education and human development, medicine and health sciences, and professional studies, in addition to two undergraduate programs.

Linebaugh said the name change better fits the main focuses of the campus, which conducts research in transportation safety, energy science, high performance computing, earthquake and infrastructure reliability, and physics, among other fields.

“The name is really an extension of the name rather than a change,” says Linebaugh. “Science and technology are the main areas of focus on the campus. Adding ‘science and technology’ to the name better communicates the type of research being conducted on the campus.”

One of the prominent research programs located on GW’s Virginia campus, the Center for the Study of Learning, boasts partnerships with more than 26 institutions and universities in more than 15 countries worldwide. The center focuses on cross-disciplinary research on learning, and has more than eight research projects in topics ranging from international banking to the Washington D.C. school system.

Diana Burley, director of the executive leadership doctoral program at the Center for the Study of Learning, said the location of GW’s Virginia campus is valuable to the success and scope of its research programs.

“Our students and faculty appreciate the vibrant atmosphere [and] access to the Northern Virginia business community – with which we conduct a significant amount of research,” Burley said. “GW continues to thrive in the region, attracting both students and research dollars and conducting world-class research.”

Burley said although GW’s Virginia campus has a strong presence as a research and technology campus, the campus still is part of the University as a whole.

“The programs and centers at the Virginia campus are an extension of the work being conducted at Foggy Bottom,” Burley said. ” We are one university.”

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