Days before the end of his presidency, Knapp says ‘thanks, farewell’

Media Credit: Hatchet File Photo by Sam Hardgrove | Assistant Photo Editor

University President Steven Knapp plays the drums during a farewell event in May to celebrate his legacy at GW.

As his tenure as University president draws to a close, Steven Knapp thanked the GW community for its support and detailed the legacy he hopes to leave behind in a farewell letter Thursday.

“Today, in an age our namesake could not have imagined, we remain true to our mission of educating citizen leaders not just for this nation but now for the world,” Knapp wrote in the letter. “And we have grown in ways our namesake also could not have imagined … growth that has made GW the largest, most comprehensive, and I will say most innovative university in the world’s most powerful city.”

Thomas LeBlanc, the executive vice president and provost at the University of Miami, will step into Knapp’s role on August 1. He was selected for the post in January by the Board of Trustees after a months-long search.

Knapp announced last June that the 2016-17 school year would be his final one as president.

In the letter, Knapp highlighted the “culture of service” at the University, pointing to GW’s $1 billion fundraising campaign, which commenced in 2014. The campaign ended on June 30 after hitting its goal a year early in May, clocking in with a final tally of more than $1.02 billion in donations.

The University launched an “impact website” Monday to show how the money will be distributed, ranging from financial aid to investments in the Science and Engineering Hall.

Knapp said he is proud that the University “connects policy with science and technology and has become a model of urban sustainability.”

During Knapp’s tenure, officials added and renovated 11 LEED-certified buildings, which comply with specific sustainability requirements. He also signed a District-wide sustainability pledge in 2012 and kickstarted the University’s participation in the Real Food Challenge in 2014.

In the letter, Knapp discussed his pride in the GW community’s ability to engage in civil discourse across a variety of topics, be engaged across the District and connect with alumni.

Knapp ended the statement saying thanks to “all those who made our GW lives possible by staffing my office, making the F Street House truly a home, ensuring our safety, delivering our mail, shoveling our walks and helping us in other ways too numerous to count.”

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