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Knapp and Gray

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, center, chose University President Steven Knapp, left, to co-chair the District’s Age-Friendly Task Force. Hatchet File Photo

University President Steven Knapp continued work last Thursday on a city-wide task force to improve the quality of life for local seniors by 2017.

Knapp met with 22 other city leaders serving on the city’s Age-Friendly Task Force, which is part of a World Health Organization initiative, to begin drafting a strategic plan that addresses the issues facing D.C.’s elderly. Alumnus and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray chose Knapp to co-chair the group with Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Beatriz Otero last October.

Committee members presented their findings on topics such as housing and transportation after conducting research with federal agencies like the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Health and Human Services. GW students and faculty also helped contribute to research on social inclusion and other subjects.

The task force’s members will come together again in the fall at the Marvin Center, and their strategic plan will be released to the public in October. The group’s coordinator is alumna Gail Kohn, who once served as executive director of the Capitol Hill Village, which connects volunteers to residents hoping to age in their homes.

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The Princeton Review named GW the most politically active campus in the country for the second year in a row while other D.C. colleges dropped several spots in the rankings released Monday.

Georgetown and American universities dropped from No. 3 and No. 4 in the annual ranking of politically engaged student bodies to No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.

Whether it’s interning at the White House or taking a semester off to work on a campaign, GW students have earned a reputation for political activism within and outside the Beltway.

And that activism doesn’t stop after graduation, as alumni go on to work on Capitol Hill or become political leaders themselves.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at Lisner Auditorium in June. File Photo by Desiree Halpern | Senior Staff Photographer

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at Lisner Auditorium in June. File Photo by Desiree Halpern | Senior Staff Photographer

Maybe that’s what happens when GW frequently hosts politicians and other U.S. officials like former Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton, who both spoke on campus this summer.

The University also came in at No. 5 for “College City Gets High Marks,” falling two places from last year. Boston University clinched the top spot in the category, while Georgetown slid to No. 13.

Princeton Review recognized GW’s study abroad program and on-campus housing as the 14th and 12th best in the nation, respectively.

The University came under scrutiny last summer after residents complained about living conditions to a local TV station and created a Facebook page called “GW Housing Horrors.”

GW has since promised to upgrade residence halls more regularly, and several halls are undergoing renovations this summer.

Princeton Review releases annual rankings in 62 different categories based on student surveys.

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Former Secretary of State and GW alumnis Colin Powell spoke with the School of Media and Public Affairs director Frank Sesno at Lisner Auditorium Monday. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Former Secretary of State and GW alumnus Colin Powell, right, spoke with School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno at Lisner Auditorium on Monday. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

With his memoir in their hands, hundreds listened as Colin Powell described his journey from growing up in the Bronx to leading the State Department at Lisner Auditorium on Monday.

Powell’s second memoir, “It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership,” includes his “Thirteen Rules” of leadership and conduct – first published in Parade Magazine in 1989. The former Secretary of State, the first black man to take that post, discussed the rules that served him best throughout his career and during his toughest times in office.

Here are the key takeaways from the evening.

1. Optimism is an attitude, not a prediction

“It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning” is Powell’s first rule, and one that he continually referred to during his conversation with School of Media and Public Affairs Director Frank Sesno.

Powell, who received a master of business administration from GW in 1971, said he has surrounded himself during his government career with people who share his motivation and optimism to finish the task at hand.

“It will look better in the morning. Well, maybe it will, maybe it won’t. It might be worse,” Powell said, prompting laughs from the audience. “It’s an attitude that’s helpful to you, it’s an attitude that’s helpful to your organization.”

Powell shared the rules which served him best in his career. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

Powell shared the rules that served him best through his career. Katie Causey | Hatchet Staff Photographer

2. You’re born a leader

Powell noted that while growing up in the Bronx he never imagined he would become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989, but he recognized the skills he possessed that would help him find success.

“I think you’re born with a certain empathy for people and a certain ability to influence people,” Powell said.

Powell added that leadership skills aren’t only reserved for those in positions of power.

“You don’t have to be running a division or a company to be a leader,” he said. “You can be a leader in a very small segment of your life.”

3. Leadership is about people

No matter your role, it is not the organization, a powerpoint presentation or a philosophy that will get things done, the retired four-star Army general said.

“It is people,” he said.

Powell said he has found that working with those who have had similar experiences as him, like people who also come from immigrant families, inspires him.

Powell also mentioned the leadership skills of President Barack Obama, praising the president for his ability to mobilize people toward certain tasks.

“Leadership is all about inspiring a group of people to achieve what needs to be achieved,” Powell said. “Motivation is OK, but I want people inspired. When you inspire them, they will do what you want them to do.”

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Hatchet File Photo by Cameron Lancaster | Assistant Photo Editor

The second level of the GW Bookstore will transform into doctors’ offices and counseling rooms. Hatchet File Photo

GW is shuffling the Marvin Center bookstore as it prepares to create a new student health hub.

The University has moved GW-branded merchandise to a new store on the 2100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, clearing space for the University Counseling Center, Student Health Service as well as the Center for Alcohol and other Drug Education.

CADE will join the mental and physical health offices in the Marvin Center next spring, the University announced Monday, after GW finishes renovating the first floor of the bookstore late next semester.

Buff and Blue on Penn has opened as a “spirit store” where the University will sell GW-branded items.

The lower level of the bookstore will continue to sell textbooks, school supplies and electronics, and will have a separate entrance.

GW decided to move its health services to the Marvin Center in March after then-Student Association President Julia Susuni lobbied officials to bring UCC and SHS to a centralized location on campus.

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Plans to absorb the Corcoran College of Art and Design could be finalized by a judge by the beginning of next week. Hatchet file photo.

A D.C. judge could determine whether the Corcoran can change its charter by the beginning of next week. Hatchet File Photo.

GW’s contentious plans to absorb the Corcoran College of Art + Design could be finalized as soon as Friday.

Hearings to determine whether the Corcoran can change its charter, allowing GW’s merger with the art school, are scheduled to wrap up in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. Judge Robert Okun could make a decision as early as Friday or Monday, the Washington Business Journal reported.

During court hearings this month, a group of Corcoran students and faculty has challenged plans for GW to merge with the financially-troubled art school and for the National Gallery of Art to acquire the Corcoran’s art gallery.

GW announced Monday that the accreditation team reviewing the Corcoran College submitted a report in favor of the acquisition to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which is also GW’s accrediting body.

“We commend [Interim Director and] President [Peggy] Loar and her leadership team for forging such an imaginative arrangement with GW and the National Gallery, one that preserves the core strengths of the Corcoran while relieving it of its financial burden,” the report read.

University President Steven Knapp said during his testimony last week that GW would spend $80 million to renovate the Corcoran’s aging 17th Street building. The Corcoran will cover $35 million of the total cost of renovations.

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh also testified, and said he would make an offer to partner with the art school if the judge ruled against the charter change, but said he would not try to disrupt the agreement otherwise.

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Updated: Aug. 4, 2014 at 8:31 a.m.

American actor Anwan Glover was brought to GW Hospital after he was stabbed in a D.C. nightclub early Sunday morning.

Glover, who appeared on HBO’s “The Wire,” was stabbed in the torso inside Cafe Asia near 17th and I streets at about 2 a.m. on Sunday. A man had approached Glover and repeatedly hit then stabbed him, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The D.C. native, also a musician, was released from GW Hospital after he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, the Sun reported.

Glover, who played a gang leader on “The Wire” and also appeared in the movie “12 Years a Slave,” reportedly was shot 13 times when he was younger in Columbia Heights, the Washington Post reported. His brother died in a D.C. shooting seven years ago, and his son was wounded in a shooting four years later.

Glover appeared with then-Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2007 after his brother died to advocate against gun violence in the city.

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly spelled the name of former mayor Adrian Fenty. It is Adrian, not Adrien. We regret this error.

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Updated: Aug. 2, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.

Officers are searching for a cab driver accused of sexually assaulting a woman near Tompkins Hall on 23rd and H Streets early Saturday morning.

The woman had hailed a cab from Georgetown to Foggy Bottom, and reported that the driver tried to have sex with her after pulling over in front of the hall. She got out of the van and ran to a pedestrian, who activated the blue light emergency system and alerted the University Police Department.

The University sent out an alert about the incident at about 12:50 a.m. Saturday morning.

The suspect, a heavy-set black man in his 40s, was last driving north on 23rd street in a silver van with tinted windows, according to the alert.

The Metropolitan Police Department is leading the investigation, University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said, and officers are searching the area.

Csellar said the woman was not a GW student. The MPD public information office did not return requests for comment.

Under the federal Clery Act, universities must issue warnings about incidents that pose an immediate threat to the campus community. Schools are also required to report sexual assaults – and all crimes that occur on campus – to the Department of Education.

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Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland, laid out an alternative plan for the Corcoran College of Art and Design to keep its independence in court Thursday. Hatchet File Photo.

Wallace Loh, president of the University of Maryland, laid out an alternative plan for the Corcoran College of Art and Design to keep its independence. Hatchet File Photo.

Opponents to breaking up the Corcoran Gallery of Art and its College of Art + Design called on witnesses to present their plans in court Thursday that would keep both institutions intact.

The president of the University of Maryland and a prominent D.C. philanthropist laid out alternatives to GW’s joint plan with the National Gallery of Art to absorb the Corcoran. The testimonies come more than a week after a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled that some members of the advocacy group Save the Corcoran could make a case against the merger.

UMD president Wallace Loh described the plans he had outlined to Corcoran leaders in February before the Corcoran announced a deal with GW. Loh said he was prepared to return to the $46 million deal that the state university had offered the Corcoran, which would make it an affiliated college.

Save the Corcoran had subpoenaed Loh, who said he was “philosophically” committed to preserving the Corcoran’s independence and keeping the art school and gallery together, the Washington Post reported.

If GW acquires the college, it will spend $80 million to renovate the 17th street building, with $35 million coming from the Corcoran, University President Steven Knapp said Tuesday in court.

Wayne Reynolds, a philanthropist who led the $54 million campaign to turn around the historic Ford’s Theatre, offered another alternative to GW’s plans.

Reynolds testified that he could bring in deep-pocketed donors to revive the Corcoran’s lackluster fundraising. He also spotlighted the Corcoran’s poor management, saying officials asked him to become board of trustees chairman in 2012 but then cancelled several meetings with him, the Associated Press reported.

Five more witnesses are scheduled to testify early next week, and closing arguments could come as early as Wednesday.

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Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 11:48 a.m.

Forbes gives GW a B+ for financial health

The University received an above-average financial health rating from Forbes, but didn’t make the honor roll.

The American business magazine awarded GW a B+ rating for the second-straight year. Forbes weighed details like tuition dependency, the percentage of students who enroll and endowment size for its annual ratings.

The University relies on tuition for 62 percent of revenue, which contributed to its B-level grade.

“Tuition dependency is the most serious risk facing middling colleges today,” Forbes’ grading methodology read.

With an endowment of about $1.4 billion, GW also ranked lower than several peer schools that have larger nest eggs. Northwestern University, which has an endowment about five times the size of GW’s, ranked 19th on Forbes’ list of the nation’s best colleges and received an A+ for financial health.

New York, Boston, American and Georgetown universities, received B’s from Forbes. Tufts University and the University of Southern California, two other peer schools, both earned A grades.

Forbes used data from fiscal years 2010 to 2012, the most recent available.

GW received A-level grades from two credit rating agencies last week after it announced it will take on $300 million in debt, pushing its total debt load to $1.7 billion.

Moody’s Investor Service and Standard and Poor’s concluded that GW’s financial resources could support that amount because it plans to use $130 million of the new debt to replace existing loans and take advantage of lower interest rates.

GW landed at No. 122 on Forbes’ list of the nation’s best colleges, its lowest ranking since 2011. The rankings, which look at more than 900 schools, use return on investment as a key factor.

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The bankruptcy could delay construction on the Science and Engineering Hall. Hatchet File Photo

The bankruptcy filing could delay construction of the Science and Engineering Hall. Hatchet File Photo

Updated: Aug. 1, 2014 at 7:55 p.m.

A subcontractor hired to complete electrical work for the Science and Engineering Hall filed for bankruptcy last week, which could delay the project and cost thousands of dollars a day.

Truland Systems’ bankruptcy filing could cost Clark Construction, the company GW hired, about $7,000 a day. An attorney representing Clark gave that estimate in a motion he filed in bankruptcy court to replace Truland, the Washington Post reported.

“The delay in completing the critical path electrical work will not only result in late delivery of the project, [...] but, it will impact the other trade contractors on the project, resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in trade contractor delay claims,” Clark’s attorney Patrick Potter wrote.

Truland, a Reston, Va.-based electrical contractor with about 1,000 employees, filed for bankruptcy on July 23. The company’s employees stopped work two days before, the Post reported.

University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said GW does not expect the bankruptcy to affect the building’s 2015 opening. The University is working with Clark to “mitigate any potential impacts related to the recent bankruptcy,” Hiatt said.

Truland would be liable for the costs of the delay because of the provisions in its contract with Clark, Potter wrote in the motion.

Two former Truland employees filed a class action lawsuit against the company Wednesday, claiming they did not receive written notice of their termination 60 days in advance as required by federal law.

Construction for the Science and Engineering Hall is expected to cost $275 million.

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