American University

American University


name = American University
established = February 24, 1893
motto = "Pro deo et patria"
("For God and Country")
type = Private
president = Cornelius M. Kerwin
provost = Scott A. Bass as of July 1, 2008
city = flagicon|USA Washington, D.C.
undergrad = 5,824
postgrad = 3,925 (1,688 law)
faculty = 600 full time, 420 adjunct
campus = Urban 84 acre (34 ha)
nickname = Eagles
mascot = Clawed Z. Eagle
athletics = Eagles NCAA Division I
colors = AU red and blue
endowment = $435 million [ Retrieved July 20, 2007]
affiliations = APSIA; Patriot League; IAMSCU; CUWMA; MAISA
free_label = Study Abroad
free = 470 programs
website= []
publictransit = Tenleytown-AU (Washington Metro)
:"For other universities known as" American University, "see American University (disambiguation)."

American University (AU) is a private United Methodist-affiliated university in Washington, D.C., U.S., the main campus of which comes to a corner at the intersection of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues at Ward Circle, straddling the Spring Valley, Wesley Heights, and American University Park neighborhoods of Northwest. Roughly 6,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students are currently enrolled. [ [ College Board American University Profile] Retrieved March 19, 2008] Though there is sometimes confusion, American University is separate from most "American Universities" around the world.

It is served by the Tenleytown-AU station on the Washington Metro subway line, which is located roughly one mile from the main campus in the neighborhood of Tenleytown. AU is a member of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, allowing students to enroll in courses offered by other member institutions and students at other member institutions to enroll in courses at AU. A member of the Division I Patriot League, its sports teams compete as the American University Eagles.



American University traces its history to a letter written by George Washington, in which he expressed a desire for a "national university" to be located in the nation's capital. The university was established in the District of Columbia by an Act of Congress on February 24, 1893 primarily due to the efforts of Methodist Bishop John Fletcher Hurst. It is one of only two universities in the nation, the other being the George Washington University, to be chartered by an act of Congress, and thus have the seal of Congress appear on its diplomas. Bishop Hurst and his colleagues were concerned with building an institution that would meld the strengths of the best German universities with the strengths of the existing university system in America. As their plans developed during the early years, they began to conceive of American University as an institution that would be:
*A privately supported university financed principally by the membership of the churches, particularly the Methodist Episcopal Church, which had been the founders of many of the colleges and universities in the early years of American history.
*An internationally minded institution where scholars from across the nation and from throughout the world would gather to dedicate their combined efforts to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.
*A center of higher education and research activities that, while independent of the government, would draw freely on the intellectual and scientific resources of the Nation's Capital to supplement and to extend its own capabilities.
*An institution that would contribute to the general cultural life and development of the capital in much the same manner that state-supported universities in other world capitals contributed to their communities.


After more than three decades devoted principally to securing financial support, the university was officially dedicated on May 15, 1914. The first instruction began on October 6 of that year, when 28 students were enrolled (19 of them graduate students, nine of them special students who were not candidates for a degree). The First Commencement, at which no degrees were awarded, was held on June 2, 1915. The Second Annual Commencement was held on June 2, 1916 where the first degrees (one master's degree and two doctor's degrees) were awarded.

Shortly after these early commencement ceremonies, classes were interrupted by war. During World War I, the university allowed the U.S. military to use some of its grounds for testing. In 1917, the U.S. military divided American University into two segments, Camp American University and Camp Leach. Camp American University became the birthplace of the United States' chemical weapons program, and chemical weapons were tested on the grounds; this required a major cleanup effort in the 1990s. Camp Leach was home to advanced research, development and testing of modern camouflage techniques. As of 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers is still removing ordnance including mustard gas and mortar shells.

During the next ten years, instruction was offered at the graduate level only, in accordance with the original plan of the founders. In the fall of 1925, the College of Liberal Arts (subsequently named the College of Arts and Sciences) was established. Since that date, the University has offered both undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs.

During World War II, the campus again offered its services to the U.S. government and became home to the U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal School and a WAVE barracks. For AU's role in these wartime efforts, the Victory ship SS "American Victory" was named in honor of the university.


The present structure of the university began to emerge in 1949. The Washington College of Law became part of the University in that year, having begun in 1896 as the first coeducational institution for the professional study of law in the District of Columbia. Shortly thereafter, three departments were reorganized as schools: the School of Business Administration in 1955 (subsequently named the Robert P. and Arlene R. Kogod College of Business Administration and in 1999 renamed the Kogod School of Business); the School of Government and Public Administration in 1957; and the School of International Service in 1958.

In the early 1960s, the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency operated a think tank under the guise of Operation Camelot at American University. The government abandoned the think tank after the operation came to public attention. AU's political intertwinement was furthered by President John F. Kennedy's Spring 1963 commencement address. [ [ "1963 Commencement"] June 10, 1963. Retrieved February 5, 2007] In the speech, Kennedy called on the Soviet Union to work with the United States to achieve a nuclear test ban treaty and help reduce the considerable international tensions and the specter of nuclear war during that juncture of the Cold War.

From 1965 to 1977, the College of Continuing Education existed as a degree-granting college with responsibility for on- and off-campus adult education programs. The Lucy Webb Hayes School of Nursing provided undergraduate study in Nursing from 1965 until 1988. In 1972, the School of Government and Public Administration, the School of International Service, the Center for Technology and Administration, and the Center for the Administration of Justice (subsequently named the School of Justice) were incorporated into the College of Public and International Affairs.

In October 1984, President Richard Berendzen announced that the University would purchase the Immaculata Campus in 1986 to help alleviate space problems. This investment would later become the Tenley Campus.

In 1986, construction on the Adnan Khashoggi Sports and Convocation Center began. Financed with $5 million from and named for Saudi Arabian Trustee Adnan Khashoggi, the building was intended to update athletics facilities and provide a new arena, as well as a parking garage and office space for administrative services. Costing an estimated $19 million, the building represented the largest construction project to date, but met protest by both faculty and students to the University's use of Khashoggi's name on the building due to his involvement in international arms trade [ NBC Evening News for Sunday, 11 January 1987] .

In 1988, the College of Public and International Affairs was reorganized to create two free-standing schools: the School of International Service and the School of Public Affairs, incorporating the School of Government and Public Administration and the School of Justice. That same year, construction on the Adnan Khashoggi Sports Center completed while the Iran-Contra Affair controversy was at its height although his name was not removed from the building until after Khashoggi defaulted on his donation obligation in the mid to late 90's.


In 1991, Richard E. Berendzen stepped down as President after admitting to making obscene phone calls. He sought immediate medical treatment and remained a full-time member of the American University faculty until his retirement in 2006.

Berendzen was succeeded by Joseph Duffy, who left after one year to become the head of the United States Agency for International Development under President Clinton.

The School of Communication became independent from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1993.

In 1997 American University of Sharjah, the only coeducational, liberal arts university in the United Arab Emirates, signed a two year contract with AU to provide academic management, a contract which has since been extended multiple times through August 2009. A team of senior AU administrators relocated to Sharjah to assist in the establishment of the university and guide it through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation process.

In 2003, American launched the largest fund raising campaign in its history. The program, "ANewAU" [ [ "A New AU"] Retrieved February 5, 2007] , has a goal of raising $200 million dollars. As of June 30, 2008, the University has raised $164.625 million dollars. When the campaign is completed, the University's website states that it "will help to attract and retain the finest faculty, increase scholarship support, create and endow research and policy centers, ensure state-of-the-art resources in all of our schools and colleges, expand global programs, and secure the long-term financial health of the university by boosting the endowment." [ [ "Why a new AU"] Retrieved February 18, 2008]

In the fall of 2005, the much anticipated Katzen Arts Center opened.

Benjamin Ladner was suspended from his position as president of the university on August 24, 2005, pending an investigation into possible misuse of university funds for his personal expenses. University faculty passed votes of no confidence in President Ladner on September 26 [ [ "AU Faculty Members Vote No Confidence in Ladner"] "Washington Post." September 27, 2005; Page A01] . On October 10, 2005, the Board of Trustees of American University decided that Ladner would not return to American University as its president. [ [] ] Dr. Cornelius M. Kerwin served as interim president and was appointed to the position permanently on September 1, 2007. [cite web| url=| title=President-Elect Cornelius M. Kerwin biography| author=American University| date=2007| accessdate = 2007-07-20] . According to "The Chronicle of Higher Education", [ Page B10, 16 November 2007] , he received a total compensation of $4,270,665 in his final year of service, the second highest of any university president in the United States.

Ground was broken for the new School of International Service building on November 14th, 2007. A speech was given by Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI). Construction began in early April 2008, and is expected to last for two years.


American University has two non-contiguous campuses used for academics and student housing: the main campus on Massachusetts Avenue, and the Tenley Campus on Nebraska Avenue. An additional facility houses the Washington College of Law, located half a mile northwest of the main campus on Massachusetts Avenue. Additionally, AU owns several other buildings in the Tenleytown and Spring Valley areas.

Main campus

The first design for campus was done by Frederick Law Olmsted but was significantly modified over time due to financial constraints. The campus occupies 84 acres (340,000 m²) adjacent to Ward Circle, the intersection of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues. AU's campus is predominantly surrounded by the affluent residential neighborhoods characteristic of the Northwest Quadrant of Washington, D.C. Highlights of the campus include a main quadrangle surrounded by academic buildings, seven residential halls, a 5,000-seat arena, and an outdoor amphitheatre. The campus is a designated arboretum, with many foreign and exotic plants and trees dotting the landscape.

Major buildings

*University (Bender) Library, which holds over a million books
*Hurst Hall, first building of the university, ground broken in 1896 for what was to be the College of History. Now home to departments of Biology and Environmental Science, the University Honors Program, and the Center for Teaching Excellence. Hurst Hall has no elevators and its only bathrooms are located in the basement.
*Mary Graydon Center, home to student organization offices, the main dining facilities, and the School of Communication.
*Katzen Arts Center, Provided for by a monetary gift from Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen, opened in 2005 and is now home to the Department of Performing Arts, the American University Museum, and other Academic Departments.
*Abbey Joel Butler Pavilion, holds the campus store, the Office of Campus Life, the Career Center, and meeting spaces.
*Sports Center: Bender Arena, Reeves Aquatic Center, Jacobs Fitness Center (see Athletics below)
*School of International Service, ground broken by President Dwight Eisenhower. A new building is under construction as of March 3, 2008.
*McKinley Building, cornerstone laid by President Theodore Roosevelt. Currently the home of the department of Computer Science, Audio Technology, and Physics. Slated to become the new home to the School of Communication.
*Battelle-Tompkins Building, the university library until 1977 and now home to the College of Arts and Sciences.
*Ward Circle Building, the largest classroom building on campus, built in 1968 as a home for the School of Government and Public Administration (now the School of Public Affairs).
*Kay Spiritual Life Center, built in 1963, a nondenominational place of worship, home to the University Chaplains and is used for speeches and performances.
*Kogod School of Business, formerly known as the Myers-Hutchins Building, and previous home to the Washington College of Law. Construction is currently underway to annex it to the now empty Experimental Theatre and Butler Instructional Center.

Residence halls

Residence halls on main campus are divided into two complexes based on geographic location: North Complex and the South Complex.
*North Complex: Hughes, McDowell and Leonard Halls
**Nebraska Hall: located across Massachusetts Avenue from main campus, near the Katzen Arts Center. It features suite-style residences opened in August 2007.

*South Complex: Letts, Anderson and Centennial Halls

Most rooms house two students, but in periods of high demand, some rooms are converted into triples.

Tenley campus

Formerly the Immaculata School, Tenley Campus is located half a mile east of the main campus, and was purchased by American University in 1987 specifically for the Washington Semester program. During the academic year, Tenley Campus is home to the Washington Semester Program students, though students enrolled at AU can also elect to live there. During the summer, the residence halls are used to house summer interns. Administratively, Tenley Campus is home to the main offices of the Washington Semester Program, the Office of Development, University Marketing, University Publications, and Media Relations

Residence Halls:
*Capital Hall: housing 170 students, Capital Hall is the oldest and most ornate of the Tenley Campus buildings. It also contains a fitness center and the stained glass chapel that is used for dance and music recitals.
*Congressional Hall: houses 156 students and contains the central reception desk for the Tenley Campus.
*Federal Hall: houses 107 students and contains the Mail Room and Tenley Cafe, the Tenley Campus cafeteria

Administrative Buildings and Other Facilities:
*Dunblane House: a small administrative and classroom building.
*Constitution Building: an administrative building.
*A sports field used for intramural sport matches.

Proposed renovations and expansions

Starting in 2006, American University has actively sought to expand and rejuvenate their campus. The proposed renovations and additions to the campus with their expected competition dates are: [ [ "Presentation to Faculty Senate"] March 1, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2007] [ [ "Facilities Projects"] Office of the University Architect, American University. Retrieved February 5, 2007]

Fall 2006:
*Renovating the Watkins Art Building to add classrooms and administrative space (Complete).Fall 2007:
*Renovating the first floor of the Mary Graydon Center which will help in efficiently using the space already available (complete) [ [ "MGC to be renovated over summer"] "The Eagle Online." October 26, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2007]
*Renovating Nebraska Hall, which currently houses academic classrooms and administrative office space, to create a new suite-style residence hall for 115 upperclassmen. (complete)
*More Watkins Building Renovation-renovating and updating this building (complete) [] January 2009: []
*Expanding the Kogod School of Business Building into the adjacent New Lecture Hall/Experimental Theatre (in progress) [] February 2009: []
*Add a canopy over a walkway between the Mary Graydon Center and the Batelle-Tomkins building [] May 2010: []
*Constructing a new, larger building for the School of International Service, complete with three levels of underground parking and an environmentally-friendly design that meets LEED's Gold Standard [] (in progress). Excavation of the construction site began late March 2008. (in progress) [] []

To Be Announced:
*Renovating McKinley Hall to house the School of Communication (in planning stages).


American University enrolls a little more than 1,000 freshmen each year. [ [ "About the University"] Retrieved February 5, 2007] [ [ "American University"] Yahoo! Education. Retrieved February 5, 2007] The average class size is 23 and the student-faculty ratio is 14:1. [ [ "About the University"] Retrieved February 5, 2007] AU is ranked 83rd among "national universities" by "US News & World Report"'s college and university rankings guide [ [ "National Universities: Top Schools"] "US News and World Report." Retrieved February 19, 2008] , and is one of the 270 universities that house a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest honor society.

In 2008, AU was named the most politically active school in the nation in The Princeton Review's annual survey of college students. [ [ "AU Students Named Most Politically Active"] "Princeton Review." Retrieved October 4, 2008] . In 2006, the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" ranked AU as a "Best Buy" college for the quality of academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance. For two years in a row, American University has had more students chosen to receive Presidential Management Fellowships than any other college or university in the country. In spring 2006, 34 graduate and law students were chosen for the honor. [ AU Presidential Search Description] . Retrieved April 2, 2007]

The Kogod School of Business, the first school of business in Washington, was named by the "Wall Street Journal" and "Business Week" magazine as one of the top business schools in the country. "Kogod is positioning itself squarely in the upper echelons of America's finest business schools," according to the "Princeton Review". [ [ "American University"] "The Princeton Review." Retrieved February 5, 2007] The Wall Street Journal ranked the Kogod School of Business in its 2004 “Top 50 MBA Programs.” [ [ CollegeJournal | Rankings at a Glance ] ] "On September 16, 2007 the Wall Street Journal announced their 2007 graduate rankings, and the Kogod School of Business was ranked 36 out of the top 51." [ [ WSJ10: WSJ-WSJ REPORTS-MBA-ADVANCE PAGES [2EE ... 09/17/07 ] ] The School of International Service (SIS) is recognized as the largest of its kind in the U.S. Among The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) schools, AU’s School of International Service has the largest number of minority students and female students and is ranked 6th among APSIA schools in numbers of international students. A review in "Foreign Policy Magazine" ranked the school 8th in the country for preparing future foreign policy professionals and 25th for academic careers. SIS’s undergraduate programs earned a spot at number 11, and its graduate programs were ranked number 8. [ "Foreign Policy survey ranks SIS master’s program in top-10." Retrieved April 2, 2007] Because the field of international relations is not evaluated by "U.S. News & World Report", the College of William and Mary recently published the results of their survey, which ranked the AU international relations master’s degree in the top 10 in the United States and the doctoral degree in the top 25. The School of Communication is among the top 25 in the nation, and it graduates the third largest number of communication professionals among U.S. colleges and universities. The School of Public Affairs is ranked among the top 10 programs in the country by "U.S. News and World Report". Washington College of Law’s clinical program ranks second in the nation, its international law program is ranked 6th in the nation and the school overall ranks among the top 50 U.S. law schools according to "U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges".

AU is especially known for promoting international understanding. [ "About the University"] Retrieved March 16, 2007] This is reflected in the diverse student body who is from more than 150 countries, the university’s course offerings, the faculty's research, and from the regular presence of world leaders on its campus. AU has the 12th largest number of graduates in current Peace Corps service (34), and ranks fourth in the number of Peace Corps volunteers as a percentage of the total undergraduate population. [ [ "Campus Update"] Memorandum from President Kerwin, February 6, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2007]

AU has earned a reputation among the best schools in the nation for international relations, government and political science, as well as a hub for arts in Washington, D.C. The school has a long history of partnership with the Washington metropolitan area, beginning with its charter by the U.S. Congress in 1893. The University takes its responsibility to the community very seriously. In 2001, AU's economic impact on the District of Columbia totaled more than $600 million. WAMU, American’s National Public Radio Station, is one of the top 5 NPR stations in the country. "Over 80% of AU undergraduate students and 60% of graduate students complete an internship or other experiential education experience by graduation.... Fifty-seven percent of AU’s undergraduate and 40% of graduate students participate in significant community service in the local community by graduation," according to their website.

Centers, institutes and special programs

"See also: Washington College of Law Programs & Centers"

*American University Museum
*American University of Sharjah
*AU Abroad
*Center for Asian Studies
*Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies
*Center for Democracy and Election Management (CDEM)
*Center for Global Peace
*Center for the Global South
*Center for Islamic Peace
*Center for Israel Studies
*Center for North American Studies
*Center for the Study of Rulemaking
*Center for Social Media
*Council on Comparative Studies (CCS)
*Global Intellectual Property Project (GLIPP)
*Institute for Strategic Communication for Nonprofits
*Institute for the Study of Public Policy Implementation (ISPPI)
*Intercultural Management Institute
*Justice Programs Office
*Katzen Arts Center
*Key Executive Program
*Kogod's Center for IT & Global Economy
*National Center for Health and Fitness
*Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC)
*Washington Internship for Native Students (WINS)
*Washington Semester Program
*Women & Politics Institute

Notable alumni and staff

Academic organization

The university is composed of six divisions, referred to as colleges or schools, which house its academic programs: College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), Kogod School of Business (KSB), School of Communication (SOC), School of International Service (SIS), School of Public Affairs (SPA) and Washington College of Law (WCL). With the exception of WCL, undergraduate and graduate courses are housed within the same division, although organized into different programs.

Students who do not declare into a specific school are sorted into CAS, which combine with its variety of academic programs to make it the largest division, followed by SIS, SPA, WCL, KSB and SOC.

American University is also home to a unique program known as the Washington Semester Program. This program partners with institutions around the world to bring students to AU for a semester. The program operates independently from, but in conjunction with, the other academic units. The program combines two seminar courses on three days a week with a two day per week internship that gives students a unique look at Washington, DC. The program is unique in that the courses are not typical lecture courses; instead, speakers from various sectors of a particular field are invited to address the class, often from different perspectives. [ [ "Washington Semester at American University"] Retrieved February 5, 2007]

Library system

library_name = American University Library
location = Washington, DC
established = 1926 as Battelle Library
num_branches = 5 (including the main library)
collection_size = 1,035,000 books
annual_circulation = 268,500
pop_served = 2,000 per day
members =
budget =
director = Bill Mayer
num_employees = 80 (full-time)
website =
The American University Library system consists of the main library and four branches and special collections: the University Archives, Curriculum Materials Center, Media Services, and the Music Library (located in the Katzen Arts Center). It is part of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), which includes numerous schools from the region that pool their resources to provide Interlibrary Loan (ILL) for their students respectively. The WRL Consortium also includes The Catholic University of America, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Marymount University, and University of the District of Columbia. The Pence Law Library, part of the Washington College of Law, is not part of the main university library system, and it even has a separate catalog.

As of 2006, American University's Library contains over one million volumes, nearly 3,000 print periodicals, over 11,000 films and videos (which is rapidly increasing), well over one million microform materials, nearly 37,000 sound recordings, over 13,000 musical scores, 65 newspaper subscriptions, and 14,500 electronic journals. On average, the library attracts roughly 2,000 patrons each day. It circulates nearly 300,000 materials per year, which is impressive given the size of the university, and almost 50,000 reference questions are asked each year. [ [ "Library Facts: Fall 2006"] American University Library. Retrieved February 5, 2007]

Because American University is one of the most wireless campuses in the country (see “Technology” below), students can connect their laptops, PDAs or cell phones to the Internet from anywhere in the library. The library also has iPods loaded with news podcasts, and laptops freely available to be loaned out for library use. AU recently succeeded in digitizing the University Archive’s photographs and print collection. [ [ "About This Collection"] American University History: Photograph and Print Collection. Retrieved February 5, 2007]

Campus life


AU has more than 180 recognized organizations on campus consisting of a wide variety of political, social and academic groups.

The Kennedy political union has been AU's student-run and student-funded speaker's bureau charged with providing quality political speakers since the 1968-1969 academic year.

tudent media

Composed of independent and fee-funded bodies, AU student media covers a number of mediums. Bodies include:

tudent Media Board organizations

*"American Literary", bi-semester literary magazine
*"Am Word", student-run online and print news magazine
*"ATV (American Television)", closed circuit student programs
*"Clocks and Clouds", annual undergraduate student research journal
*"The Talon", yearbook (formerly "Aucola")
*"WVAU", radio station staffed entirely by American University students from its studio in the Mary Graydon Center. Successor of WAMC, WAMU, and WVAU-FM and AM. Before moving to an internet only radio station is was available only on campus via carrier current AM and campus cable TV. [cite news|url=|title=WVAU revives the radio star online|date=9/11/2000|work=The Eagle|accessdate=2008-09-14]

Other media organizations

*"The Eagle", twice weekly student newspaper publishing since 1925.
*"American Observer", online news magazine covering Washington metro and campus activities and federal government
*"The Right Wing", a publication of the American University College Republicans
*AU "Daily Jolt", online community
*"The Public Purpose: An Interdisciplinary Journal," published annually by the American University School of Public Affairs Graduate Council.
*"Vitruvian Perspectives: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Scholars", published by the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Council
*"American Way of Life (AWOL)", student-run political and cultural progressive magazine.

tudent governments

Students at American University are represented by four governing bodies:
*Student Government (SG) - undergraduate students
*Graduate Leadership Council (GLC) - graduate students
*Student Bar Association (SBA) - law students
*Residence Hall Association (RHA) - both undergraduate and graduate students living in University housing (although RHA primarily consists of undergraduate students)


A member of the Patriot League, AU is home to a wide variety of athletics, including men's and women’s basketball, soccer, cross-country, swimming & diving, track, women's volleyball, field hockey, and lacrosse, along with men's wrestling, not to mention several club sports such as rowing ( [] ). Bender Arena, a state-of-the-art multi-purpose facility, hosts many of American’s athletic competitions. Bender Arena officially opened its doors on January 23, 1988, when AU's women's basketball team hosted James Madison University. Located at the center of AU’s main campus, it features several amenities:
* William I Jacobs Fitness Center
*, eight-lane pool and facilities of Reeves Aquatic Center
* Six-store mini-mall
* Campus bookstore
* 470-car, seven-level parking structure

Reeves Field, home to AU’s soccer team, is one of the premier soccer fields in Washington. Reeves Field earned the 2002 College Soccer Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association, hosted its fifth NCAA Tournament game, and served as the training site for the Uruguayan National Soccer team. FC Barcelona and Blackburn used Reeves Field as a training facility. In the summer of 2000, AU served as the practice site for Newcastle United, one of England's premier professional soccer clubs. Major League Soccer's D.C. United, Miami Fusion and San Jose Earthquakes have also practiced at AU. National teams from the U.S., Bolivia and Portugal trained at Reeves in 1996 in preparation for Summer Olympic games held at RFK Stadium.

Reeves Field also features a six-lane track to accommodate the track and field programs at AU and functions as a multi-purpose event site. During his term as Vice President, George H. W. Bush regularly traveled in the morning from his home at the U.S. Naval Observatory, located about two miles (3 km) from American University, to run the track at Reeves Field.

AU’s nationally ranked field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams play on the field at the Jacobs Recreational Complex, which also features a softball diamond and two outdoor sand volleyball courts. AU's field hockey team earned the right to host the 2005 Patriot League Tournament, where American defeated Lehigh University 7-0 in the semifinals before capturing the league crown for the third straight year by downing Holy Cross 4-2 in the Championship Game.

American University features seven outdoor tennis courts for the use of the intercollegiate tennis teams as well as the University community. Two outdoor basketball courts complete the outdoor recreational facility located next to Reeves Field and behind Bender Arena. AU has hosted three of the last four tennis team championships since joining the Patriot League, with the men's team winning back-to-back titles on the AU hardcourts and setting Patriot League Championship attendance records each year. The women's team last captured the Patriot League title in 2002. Both tennis teams have since been cut from the athletics program.

In 2007, AU Junior Josh Glenn won the NCAA Division I National Wrestling Title for convert|197|lb|abbr=on. This was the first time since 1966 that an AU athlete won a national championship.

On March 14, 2008, AU earned its first NCAA Tournament berth in men's basketball by defeating Colgate University in the Patriot League Championship Game. However, AU lost its first-round NCAA tournament game against the University of Tennessee.

Fight Song

The fight song for American University is the "AU Fight Song". The lyrics for the song are:

All hail the mighty AU Eagles!
Where there's a fight, we'll see it through!
You can be sure we'll be triumphant,
When we wear red, white and blue!
All hail the mighty AU Eagles!
We'll conquer all adversity!
So let's all join in and give a yell for AU and victory!!

AU abroad

AU offers one of the most comprehensive and renowned study abroad programs in the United States. Open to both AU Students as well as students from other American universities, students can choose to participate in a number of diverse programs around the globe. Utilizing partner institutions as well as AU-operated programs abroad, students can take courses and/or intern in different 100 study abroad programs. Additionally, students may arrange to study at a non-partnered or hosted institution abroad through AU Abroad. Programs are offered by semester, year or summer. More than 850 AU students annually study abroad on programs offered by AU Abroad and other areas within the University. [ [ "American Facts"] Media Relations. Retrieved February 5, 2007] Over 60% of all AU students will have a study abroad experience before they graduate.

Academic partnerships

*Ecole Supérieure de Journalisme de Paris, France

Public radio broadcasts

American University also operates a public radio station, WAMU, broadcasting at 88.5 MHz on the FM band. The commercial-free station is affiliated with National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International. The station began broadcasting as the student radio station, but developed into a professionally staffed station when the administration spun off the student radio station. Students may still hold internships. Original programming includes "The Diane Rehm Show" and "The Kojo Nnamdi Show".


AU was included as one of the top 50 "wired campuses" in the United States by a 1997 Yahoo! survey. Since adding a campus-wide advanced wireless broadband network in 2001, AU has been classified as one of the most "unwired" campuses in the U.S. by Intel [ [ "Unwired Campuses"] ] . Recently, AU has expanded its wireless presence by teaming with T-Mobile to first convert AU into the first HotSpot campus in 2004 and then again in 2005 when the Kogod School of Business became the first business school to integrate RSS data services with BlackBerry devices distributed to all graduate business students. Shortly after implementing RSS services, the university began providing podcasts for on-demand educational multimedia, such as lectures, playable on such programs as iTunes and compatible MP3 players as Apple's iPod. With the release of video-enabled iPods in 2005, many podcasts will now also feature audio and video playback.

In 2005 AU became one of several in the country to provide students in campus housing with access to free and legal downloadable movie and music content via the Ruckus Network and later Napster. As of Fall 2008, Napster service was no longer provided by American University.

The University Library also launched a program whereby its Media Services Department is converting films to digital format for exclusive use by faculty in teaching their coursework for streaming media content.

Other facts

*American University has a dry campus policy.
*Ten U.S. presidents have either served on the AU Board of Trustees or spoken on campus.
*AU’s School of Communication trained the cast and crew of MTV’s Road Rules and The Real World in public speaking.
*In August 2006, the Princeton Review ranked American University as the most politically active university in the United States.
*In 2006, The Advocate ranked American University among the nation's top 20 schools for LGBT students. [ [ "Top Colleges for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Students"] Retrieved February 5, 2007]
*American University was recognized by the Princeton Review as the #1 Most Politically Active Campus in the United States twice. They currently hold the title on the 2009 list. []
*Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York City’s Central Park, laid out AU's original campus design, though the design has been modified significantly over time.
*A number of television shows and films have references to AU. "The X-Files"’ Agent Scully found she had an alien virus as a result of research that had been done in AU’s Paleoclimatology Lab in the fall 1997 season premiere. No such laboratory exists at AU.
*In the film "Eulogy", Ray Romano plays an incompetent attorney that sports an American University sweatshirt.
*During a 2000 episode of "The District," it is reported to the Metropolitan Police Chief during an overnight crime briefing that the AU mascot, fictitiously named Otis, is missing.
*The Fox television series "Bones", produced by an AU alum, features many references to American University. The series' recording studio in Hollywood features a full-scale replica of the Ward 2 lecture-hall where lectures are presented by one of the series' main characters who, in the series, is a part-time AU professor.

External links

* [ American University] official site
* [ American University History Photograph and Print Collection] - Online images of AU history


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