GW at 200
This film explores the evolution of GW across its 200 years and our march to our third century through the lenses of four enduring themes: our rise to a globally-recognized university, the unique opportunities afforded by our location, our world-class faculty, and the impressive group of leaders and changemakers we count as alumni.
Narrated by actor, producer, and activist Kerry Washington, BA ’98, HON ’13.
A Look Inside: GW at 200
Learn more about the themes profiled in GW’s milestone documentary.
Cultivating Generations of Progress
When Columbian College was officially established on February 9, 1821, and then renamed the George Washington University in 1904, its success was not inevitable, its path not clearly charted, but with perseverance, passion and persistence GW grew from a school of just twenty students and six faculty into a world class, global institution.
GW started with 20 students and 6 faculty members.
Today, more than 27,000 students and faculty from 130 countries call GW home.
Providing Unparalleled Location & Access to a Global Education
From 1821 through today, students have been able to take great advantage of living and learning at the seat of the federal government and within arm’s reach of great scientific and cultural institutions.
"It’s one of the reasons I decided to come to GW…I have a chance to study at an institution that has access to the Smithsonian, to the Library of Congress, to all of these historic museums."
- Sara Bhatia, Student, 2020
Educate & Elevate
The collective force of GW’s two centuries is embodied by its remarkable alumni, now numbering more than 300,000 worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of alumni have used their GW educations to make history, including current and former heads of state from around the world, U.S. Cabinet officials, members of Congress, and countless other public servants, journalists, artists, scientists, inventors, CEOs, and icons from practically every field of endeavor.
GW’s never-ending commitment in helping to shape a stronger future is proven through its faculty, who contribute to important moments in history.
And as always, GW will adapt, grow, learn, and build an enduring path forward, fortified by the foundational strength of 200 years of history—that has elevated this university from an ambitious, small college on a hill to the internationally acclaimed research institution it is today - and will continue to be long into the future.