Updated: Sept. 12, 2015 at 1:20 p.m.
Through a donation of an unknown size, an associate emeritus professor will add her name to the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.
University President Steven Knapp announced the donation Saturday morning at the Freshman Day of Service and Convocation ceremony. The gift comes from Honey W. Nashman, who taught at GW for 43 years before retiring in 2010, and her husband Alvin E. Nashman. It will establish the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, which was also printed on the backs of the Freshman Day of Service T-shirts this year.
Honey W. Nashman said in a video played during the ceremony that she hopes the gift will boost student involvement on campus and increase the number of service learning courses.
“Our family has accomplished one of our goals — the center’s name. But this is just the beginning,” she said.
She also said in the video that she hopes her gift will give the University the bandwidth to hire new faculty and add classes that are dedicated to service learning in areas like social justice. She declined a request for an interview.
Honey W. Nashman was director of the Human Services and Social Justice program at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences before retiring, according to a release. Alvin E. Nashman, received an honorary degree from GW in 1986. Their three children were born in the GW Hospital and all attended GW, according to the video.
She also gave a brief speech to address the freshman class.
“I feel like an object in the East wing of a British museum — a mummy pressed for time,” she said. “Because this is still baseball season, I’ll try to give you my fast ball without the windup.”
But in those few moments, she offered the students some advice about how to navigate college.
“Give yourself time to balance all of your activities. Think about what is really important to you. Balance your academic, civic engagement and leisure activities,” she said. “Remember, you have but one nervous system to give to your country — use it wisely.”
The gift will count in the University’s $1 billion campaign, which has raised about $790 million.