This week’s best and worst

Thumbs Up:

College students and soccer moms alike shed tears last month when news sources reported on an eminent global wine shortage.

But the GW students who rely on Three Wishes from Whole Foods to get them through the weekend should rest assured. A team of archaeologists in Israel – led by a GW professor – discovered a cellar containing the equivalent of 3,000 wine bottles.

Now, alcohol that’s been in underground for 2,700 years might not exactly be an ideal pre-formal drink. That said, it’s encouraging to see faculty members excel in their research – especially in academic areas like archaeology, a field people do not always automatically associate with GW.

At the end of the project, the researchers found doors leading out of the cellar, which they will explore on their next dig in a few years. One can only imagine what they’ll find.

Thumbs Down:

When cranes are up across campus, so are donations. At least, that’s what administrators hope for.

Construction is well on its way to completion for what will soon be the largest and most costly academic building on campus: the Science and Engineering Hall. But there’s still one question: How are we going to pay for this?

Although the University is in the midst of what is supposed to be a $75 million to $100 million fundraising campaign for the future Science and Engineering Hall, GW has raised less than 1 percent of the money needed from outside sources to foot the bill since May and just $7 million total.

The building is still on pace to open in the spring of 2015. But administrators are still looking for what Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Michael Morsberger calls a “mega-gift” to propel the sustain the project.

Fortunately, the University relies heavily on revenue it brings in from The Avenue and to foot much of the costs. But if huge construction projects are going to continue to be the norm on campus, fundraising leaders must find innovative ways to turn more of GW’s 250,000 living alumni into donors.

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