Two D.C. universities wrote checks in support of Mayor Vincent Gray’s transition team, a fundraising report released earlier this month shows, but GW did not join the colleges in offering money to its alumnus.
Howard University was among the top donors to Gray’s transition and inauguration, contributing $25,000 to the fund. Neighboring Georgetown University donated $5,000, according to the report.
“As a neighbor and partner, we were honored to symbolize our support of the District of Columbia through our contribution to the inauguration,” Kerry-Ann Hamilton, media relations manager at Howard said. Rachel Pugh, director of media relations at Georgetown, said donations like these allowed Gray’s inauguration and transition events to be free for the public.
Chairman of GW’s Board of Trustees Russell Ramsey donated $2,500 in November, but the University as a whole did not donate in an official capacity.
The University has celebrated Gray’s ties to GW on several occasions since he was sworn in Jan. 2, honoring him during half time at a Colonials basketball game and at an on-campus breakfast ceremony two weeks ago. University officials also attended his official election night events and inauguration.
Doxie McCoy, spokeswoman for the mayor, said the lack of contributions from GW does not reverse the support the University provided throughout Gray’s political career.
“We don’t consider it anything to be taken aback by,” McCoy said.
Michael Akin, assistant vice president of government, international and community relations at GW, said the University has donated through expertise in education and economic development.
Akin also said the University is working with the Mayor’s office to organize an on-campus job fair and a job summit.
Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, said GW’s lack of donation to the mayor’s fund or Howard’s large contribution should not be read into, adding that it likely was not a high-level executive decision.
“Single contributions ought to get less attention than long-term patterns of support,” Hartle said. “GW has a pretty strong relationship with him and as a result it may not have seen any need to make a special contribution at this time.”