University picks up tab for seven officials’ London Olympics trip

Athletics director Patrick Nero tweeted a photo of Olympic athlete Pops Mensah-Bonsu, a former men’s basketball forward, with University President Steven Knapp. Photo via Twitter.

GW is footing the bill for University President Steven Knapp and six other officials’ trip to London for the 2012 Olympics.

Travel and expenses for the trip – considered official business – were covered by GW, University spokeswoman Candace Smith said.

The president’s wife, Diane Knapp, Vice President and Secretary to the University Aristide Collins, two development office representatives and Athletic director Patrick Nero joined Knapp in London. The school also covered associate professor of tourism and sport management Lisa Delpy-Neirotti, whose business course students paid their way to the games.

Knapp, who arrived there Aug. 1, has attended an alumni reception and watched former Colonial Pops Mensah-Bonsu play for Great Britain’s men’s basketball team.

Nero tweeted a “Pops & the President” shot Saturday.

“It’s important to note that when the president travels on behalf of the university he is often making connections with alumni, trustees and current and potential donors,” Smith said.

Some costs were funded out of the Office of the President’s budget, but the development office picked up most of the bill. Trustees and alumni also provided some event tickets and hosted gatherings, Smith said.

Knapp’s London trip includes visits to Sulgrave Manor, George Washington’s ancestral home, and the Crystal, an urban sustainability center built by the multinational corporation Siemens. He also met up with Delpy-Neirotti’s students and members of the Board of Trustees.

Diane Knapp’s travel costs are covered when she accompanies her husband. Smith said she travels as a University representative and “regularly has hosting duties.”

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.