Andrew Novak

Column: The man who saved Mount Vernon

He turned a small girls’ seminary into a four-year accredited college for young women. For fifteen years, Peter Pelham held the reins of power at Mount Vernon College – today the Mount Vernon Campus of the George Washington University, where, as president and visionary, he meticulously constructed a great institution from very little. Although President […]

Tuesday fire in Thurston not as big as 1979 blaze

Tuesday morning’s fire in Thurston Hall, which cost an estimated $10,000 dollars in damage and left one student in critical condition, was the dorm’s worst fire in recent memory. But over two decades ago, Thurston suffered another tragedy, when a fifth floor blaze injured dozens of students. It all started when no less than 11 […]

Column: Rename the Marvin Center

It was not long ago that students protested at the Marvin Center dedication, believing, as The Hatchet editorialized that day in 1971, that “the name Cloyd Heck Marvin will insult many users of this Center, especially the black students whose parents were not allowed to attend GW.” To this day, the mention of Marvin’s name […]

Column: History of Hatchet April Fools

For 63 years, The GW Hatchet has done something that few college newspapers around the country are able to do, and only a handful have done for as long – print a satirical issue once a year to commemorate April Fools’ Day. Publication of such an issue always carries a risk. At several college newspapers […]

Students vote to dismantle gov.

“The Student Assembly is failing because its ideas, its goals and its purposes have failed it,” wrote Hatchet columnist Tom Schade in October 1969. And many shared his sentiments. The Student Assembly, GW’s student government, appeared to be just another tool of the University administration – blind and deaf to student interests. These sentiments led […]

Column: Action needed to save historical GW

“Here in Spartan splendor strolled the faculty in black silk robes; here waited the carriage of President John Quincy Adams as he attended a new professor’s opening lecture; here Stephen Chapin presided over the institution that was to become The George Washington University,” wrote the late Elmer Louis Kayser of a section of town not […]

Early Hatchet staff makes history

“The University needed a newspaper,” Jesse Barrett said, reflecting on his role in founding The Weekly Columbian in 1902. When the Columbian University changed its name to the George Washington University in 1904, the fledgling newspaper followed suit, becoming The University Hatchet. On October 5, 1904, Editor-in-Chief F.S. Hemmick introduced the first Hatchet, a 24-page […]

GW establishes first campus

Upon his appointment in 1910, University President Charles Stockton had a large student body and able faculty, but little else. GW had no endowment, little property and a massive debt. In 1912, the University bought the St. Rose’s Industrial building at 2023 G St. with borrowed money and moved the Columbian College to its new […]

Column: GW’s last experiment with trimesters

On the National Archives building, there reads a famous verse: “the past is prologue; study the past.” The issue of trimesters, recently the subject of an Alternative Academic Calendar Report released in June, demands a look into the annals of GW history, revealing a temporary experiment with trimesters from 1941 to 1945. Had the Committee […]

Presidential Profile: Charles W. Needham (1848-1935)

During the late 1880s, the Columbian University made remarkable progress in expansion, outreach and academic quality. By the turn of the century, however, much of this progress was erased. The dishonesty of University administration officials created a financial and many believed it would not survive. In 1902, during these “dark ages,” Charles W. Needham became […]