GW Community Comes Together to Celebrate Alumni & Families Weekend


GW Community Comes Together to Celebrate Alumni & Families Weekend




The university invited its people both past and present to campus for a weekend of fun, reconnection and inspiration.

// by Nick Erickson



The nostalgia had already started to set in even before GW double alumna Maley Hunt, B.A. ’13, M.P.H. ’16, arrived back on the Foggy Bottom campus—with an all-important first stop at GW Deli.

Coming into Washington, D.C., from Wallingford, Connecticut, where she is chief operating officer and residential services administrator at LiveWell, Hunt could feel her buff-and-blue pride build as the Washington Monument came into view.

“When you start to see the monuments, you just get this sense that you’re in such a special place,” said Hunt, who is a member of the GW Alumni Association Executive Committee. “There’s no feeling like it.”

Hunt and hundreds of other GW alumni returned to campus as the university held its annual Alumni & Families Weekend (AFW), Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. GW alumni, friends and families participated in a slew of activities, showing off the best the university has to offer—including a sold-out kickoff party at Potomac Square, a conversation with President Ellen M. Granberg, a multicultural alumni reception, the Vern Harvest on the Mount Vernon campus and residential neighborhood showcases.

Three photos of GW community members celebrating during Alumni and Families weekend

The GW community came together to celebrate all weekend.

“I just love coming back for these events,” said Anjuli Desai, B.B.A. ’03, while posing her two young sons for a photo with mascot George at the kickoff party. Desai, who was back to celebrate her 20-year reunion, met her husband, Jimin Desai, B.B.A. ’05, at GW and was excited to take a stroll through University Yard.

On Friday night, actor and comedian Jimmy O. Yang, best known for his roles in “Silicon Valley” and “Crazy Rich Asians,” headlined the GW Program Board’s Annual Fall Comedy Show at the Charles E. Smith Center. The GW Classes of 2003, 2008, 2013 and 2018 all celebrated reunions on Saturday night.

Also on Saturday, the university recognized four notable individuals for their contributions to society and raising the standard of excellence and generosity within the university community at the Spirit of GW Awards ceremony.

Joseph Wright, M.P.H. ’94, a visionary in the field of health care and equity, was recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for his promotion of health equity as a national policy and for his care for children impacted by gun violence. Recently named the chief health equity officer for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Wright has also served as professor and chair of pediatrics at Howard University College of Medicine, as an executive leader at Children’s National Medical Center and as Maryland state pediatric medical director.

Steven V. Roberts, the J.B. and M.C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs, was recognized as this year’s recipient of the GW Philanthropy Award. The Cokie and Steven Roberts Student Support Fund, which he created with his late wife, journalist Cokie Roberts, aids students facing financial hardship. In collaboration with a former student, Ted Segal, B.A. ’03, Roberts also set up the Roberts & Segal Fund for Food Security in 2019, providing funding for the Store, a campus food bank.

Nassirou Diallo, B.A. ’18, was honored with the Recent Alumni Achievement Award for his dedication to improving the health of people in West Africa and creating an organization, Clinic+O, that brings health care, primary medicine and telemedicine to rural Guineans. 

Christine Brown-Quinn, M.B.A. ’92, an international finance expert with an extensive career in advising and promoting women in business, was honored with the Alumni Outstanding Service Award. She is the author of “The Female Capitalist” and other best-selling books on business and is the former president of the GW Alumni Association.   


  Photos // Abby Greenawalt for GW Today