This year’s Proud to Be GW Festival had a special twist as it was the first opportunity for most staff and faculty to meet GW’s new president Thomas LeBlanc, who began his service to the University on August 1, 2017.
Dr. LeBlanc, GW’s 17th president, an accomplished academic leader who previously served as the executive vice president, provost and professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Miami, is looking forward to getting to know and “raising high” with the GW community.
The Festival, held annually at the Foggy Bottom Campus and the Virginia Science and Technology Campus (VSTC), celebrates the contributions employees make as being part of the GW family. It recognizes the difference they make in the lives of the more than 25,000 students who live and learn on GW campuses.
Dr. LeBlanc joined Tuesday’s celebration at VSTC, as faculty and staff gathered mid-afternoon at the Enterprise Hall field for food, music and games. He was welcomed to campus by Dean Ali Eskandarian. He introduced his lovely wife Anne, and right-hand assistant Betty who both moved here with him from Florida. “Betty and Anne and I all uprooted our lives to come to GW because we saw a fabulous university in a fabulous city with great people and great opportunities and we wanted to be a part of it. We are already proud to be GW.”
“This really is a great university. It has great people. I have to tell you everything I’ve seen of the people is fabulous. Some of the policies I might question. Some of the facilities need work. Some of the parties aren’t as good as these parties. There are a lot of areas for improvement, but everyone I’ve met has been very warm and welcoming and feels very strong about this institution and their roles. And that is what we are celebrating today. That the people who work here are proud to be a part of this great institution of higher education and move it forward.”
He said they are living on the Foggy Bottom Campus and have been getting settled into the F Street house.
He recognized all three of GW’s campuses are an integral part of the university and promised to come back regularly to tour and be part of activities at VSTC.
He thanked everyone for the warm welcome to the university and again thanked staff for what you do to make the university great.
Dean Eskandarian (center) introduces Terry Hufford, Professor Emeritus of Biology, to President LeBlanc (right). (William Atkins)