George Washington University has its beginnings in the wishes of President George Washington himself. When the United States was still a fledgling nation, Washington recommended that Congress should establish a university in the nation’s capital to educate future civil servants in the principles of American government. In his will, President Washington left 50 shares of Patowmack Canal Company stock in support of this cause.
The university that Washington dreamed of was not built until after the federal city bearing his name had been completed and then burned nearly to the ground by the British in 1814, an event remembered as the Burning of Washington. Seven years later, in 1821, George Washington University opened its doors, and they have remained open ever since. The final culmination of the first President’s dream came in the form of the Law School, which opened decades later in 1865, just before the completion of the U.S. Capitol Building. Today, George Washington University Law School continues to educate students in the tradition of civic service that its namesake espoused more than 200 years ago.
About the Author:
Binta Robinson earned her Juris Doctor from George Washington University Law School in 2006. George Washington University Law School is one of the colleges at George Washington University and is Washington, D.C.’s oldest law school.