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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

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December 2015

Neighbors Invited to Town Hall with President Kerwin and New Year's Celebration

American University cordially invites its neighbors on January 12 to the annual Town Hall meeting with President Neil Kerwin, to be followed by a New Year’s reception.

The Town Hall will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 201 of the Katzen Arts Center. Parking for the event will be available in the Katzen garage. The New Year’s reception will take place at 8 p.m. on the second floor rotunda of the Katzen Arts Center. Both events are open to the entire community.

The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the D.C. Zoning Commission Order for AU’s new 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.

Additional information on the CLC can be found at

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How to Contact Us

Office of Community Relations
(202) 885-2167

Public Safety
non-emergency: (202) 885-2527
emergency: (202) 885-3636
Community Incident Reporting Form

Dean of Students
(202) 885-3300

Parking & Traffic Office
(202) 885-3111

Fall Commencement Slated for December 16

KAM2015-12-01 Fall Commencement

American University’s first ever fall commencement ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. in Bender Arena on AU's main campus. The university anticipates increased activity around campus, as families and friends visit for the occasion.

All parking areas on campus will be open for commencement, and participants have been encouraged to use public transportation and reminded of AU’s Good Neighbor parking policy.

American University awarded its first degrees (two doctorates and one master’s degree) in 1916 at a commencement ceremony held in the university’s amphitheater. AU commencements have grown over the years as the university has become larger and more diverse. More than two thousand students from AU’s six schools and colleges participate in commencement ceremonies each year.

For additional information on AU’s fall commencement, please visit:

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AU to Host D.C. Tree Summit

KAM2015-12-01 Tree Summit

American University is proud to partner with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) to present the District’s 2015 Tree Summit: Greening the District through Collaboration, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 18.

The Tree Summit will bring together stakeholders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to share best practices for planting trees on private, federal, and District-owned properties; improving coordination and collaboration; and identifying partners who will join us in planting 3,000 new trees on private property in 2016.

“Considering AU’s commitment to sustainable practices and our nationally recognized arboretum, it’s a perfect fit for us to host the Tree Summit,” said AU’s Director of Community Relations, Andrew Huff. “We always welcome the opportunity to partner with District.”

For additional information on the Tree Summit, please visit

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Community Audit Program Gears Up for Spring

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Although only the first signs of winter are beginning to show in and around campus, it is not too early for neighbors to start thinking about enrolling in a class during the spring semester as part of AU’s Community Audit program.

Modeled after the Alumni Audit Program, the Community Audit program is coordinated by the Office of Alumni Relations in conjunction with the Office of Community Relations. The program offers adults ages 60 and older, who live in the 20016 zip code, the opportunity to attend university courses on a non-credit basis for a modest charge. Auditors may listen to the same lectures and work from the same texts as enrolled students.

For $100, $75 of which serve as a donation to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, neighbors are provided with a rewarding way to enhance professional skills, take class with popular professors, or delve into a new hobby and pursue a commitment to lifelong learning. The Alumni Association Scholarship is awarded every other year to an AU freshman legacy student.

The Office of Alumni Relations has streamlined the registration process for auditing courses to improve the user experience for alumni and, with the help of the Office of Community Relations, has forged a new relationship to assist our neighbors.

“The community audit program is another great benefit for those who live close to the university,” said Andrew Huff, AU’s Director of Community Relations. “Our neighbors have some very interesting experiences and life stories, so I believe our students and professors will learn just as much from the neighbors as our neighbors will learn from the class.”

Registration for the spring semester is open now. For additional information, please visit or contact Kristena Wright at 202-885-5962.

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AU Joins Board of Tenleytown Main Street

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With the upcoming opening of the Washington College of Law, American University has joined the Board of Directors of Tenleytown Main Street.

The non-profit Tenleytown Main Street announced recently that the District's Department of Small and Local Community Development approved its request for a grant to create a Main Street Program on Wisconsin Ave., NW. The $200,000 grant will enable Tenleytown Main Street to launch a Main Street program in January 2016.

The Main Street Program, created 35 years ago by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, helps communities preserve and revitalize their commercial districts and attract new investment, businesses, and jobs. Financial support for the Main Street programs comes from local businesses and property owners, community stakeholders, events, and the District of Columbia. Already there are eight such programs in DC, and more than 2,000 throughout the country.  

Tenleytown Main Street plans to revitalize the community's business corridor by leveraging its history and sound economic base to attract new businesses, create a stronger retail presence, and make it a more desirable place. Business and property owners can expect to benefit from a Tenleytown brand, streetscape improvements, promotional events, and technical assistance opportunities.

AU's Director of Community Relations Andrew Huff noted, "As an integral part of the local community, and with the upcoming opening of our Washington School of Law, American University welcomes the Main Street program and looks forward to helping revitalize Tenleytown." 

Tenleytown Main Street's board and advisory committee expects to complete the Grant Agreement, find office space, and hire an Executive Director in time to begin work on its revitalization plans by January 3.

For more information about Tenleytown Main Street and its plans for the community, visit

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AU to Close for Winter Break

KAM2015-12-01 Winter Break

American University will be closed for eleven days during the winter holiday season. Offices and buildings, including Bender Library, will be closed from Thursday, Dec. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. The university will reopen on Monday, Jan. 4.

During the break, Public Safety staff will provide emergency services and will continue routine patrol of the campus. The AU Shuttle also will not operate during the break.

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AU Men’s Basketball Holiday Ticket Specials Available Now

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American University Men’s Basketball team has brought back its most popular mini-plan tickets for the 2015 – 16 season.

The Bender Weekender ticket plan offers the excitement of AU Eagles Men’s Basketball for just $96* per seat. You’ll receive the same great sideline, reserved chair-back seats in Bender Arena for five great weekend games. The ticket package comprises games versus:

Maryland Eastern Shore – December 20 at 1:30 p.m.

Colgate – January 3 at 2 p.m.

Lehigh – January 9 at 2 p.m.

Army West Point – February 13 at 4 p.m.

Loyola (MD) – February 27 at 12 p.m.

You also may opt for the New Year’s 3-Pack Ticket Mini-Plan for $55* that includes sideline tickets to three great match-ups to start 2016. The ticket package comprises games versus:

Colgate – January 3 at 2 p.m.

Lehigh – January 9 at 2 p.m.

Boston U. – January 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Shopping for Eagle fans has never been easier. Simply Click here or call (202) 885-T-I-X-X to reserve your Eagles Basketball Bender Weekender or New Year’s 3-Packs today!

*Plus DC Sales Tax

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Calendar of Events

Art and Design: Two Designers and Their Art

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

Michael Graham and Marc Pekala trained in graphic design programs and went on to careers in teaching and commercial design. Their design educations provided a foundation and language for their visual exploration. Pekala grew up in Baltimore seeing the poster art of the pop music culture and developed a love for using typographic forms to solve visual problems while studying at AU. Graham studied in Rome and became enamored with Classical art and inscriptional letter forms.

Documenting America: Facing Change and the FSA

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

As a partner of FotoWeekDC, the museum will present this exhibition in the Kreeger Lobby through December 13. Facing Change is a unique photography collective engaged in a long-term project to document America. The group’s ten members, working independently, are inspired by FSA photographers of the 1930s and ‘40s. A deeply held belief in the power of photography to inform and effect change brings the photographers from the two eras together.

Francis Cape & Harmony Hammond: Angle of Repose

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum Third Floor Exhibition

The engineering term “angle of repose” refers to the steepest angle material can be piled without collapsing. The collaborative installation of the works of sculptor Francis Cape and painter Harmony Hammond reflect on the precariousness – financial, political, social and emotional – of our lives. Both present absent bodies and question the significance of objects and the vulnerability of our dreams. The exhibition features Cape’s Foreclosure, a scatter of evicted hand-crafted furniture coalescing around a depleted bed and Hammond’s large near-monochrome Flesh Fold paintings with their skin pulled back to reveal a rawness underneath, and two smaller mixed-media works suggesting a rupture in the domestic environment.

Joseph White: Post-It

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum Third Floor Exhibition

A retrospective of DC artist Joseph White shows the diversity of his work from the 1980s to the present. The exhibition includes large-scale representational paintings, works on paper, and his latest paintings based on Post-It drawings.

Micheline Klagsbrun: Free Fall Flow

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

DC-based artist Micheline Klagsbrun’s latest work ranges from ink and pencil drawings on vellum to large canvases and three-dimensional wall hangings and sculptural forms. Created by a dynamic interplay of lines, colors and textures, and imbued with light, Klagsbrun’s new works appear weightless and ephemeral. The title Free Fall Flow is the riff off lyrics from the Doors’ 1968 song, Yes, The River Knows, alluding to the fluid and liminal states of transformation in which multiple forms, natural and human, animate and inanimate, are co-present. This exhibition is curated by Vesela Sretenovic.

Susanne Kessler: Jerusalem

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum First Floor Exhibition

Tracing the lines of the city map of Jerusalem with pencil or wire, again and again, like a mantra or prayer, allows Susanne Kessler to feel close to Jerusalem – “the city of mankind.” A city where three monotheistic religions come together, Jerusalem is a geographic gateway between East and West, a place where conflicts have influence on the world. Kessler’s exhibition will speak to its architecture to bring forth the ideas of transparency, continuity, difference, and conflict in a passage-like environment.

Titus Kaphar: the Vesper Project

December 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Katzen Museum second Floor Exhibition

This installation is a massive sculptural statement that weaves the artist’s own work into the walls of a 19th century American house. Kaphar’s most ambitious expression to date, The Vesper Project is a culmination of an intense five-year engagement with the lost storylines of the Vesper family. In the artist’s musings, the members of the Vesper family and their histories are intertwined with Kaphar’s autobiographical details and layered with widely¬ accepted cultural triggers of identity. Period architecture, gilt frames, a vintage typewriter, a neglected wardrobe, and old photographs act as seemingly recognizable elements, but by employing every tool of his trade, Kaphar insinuates doubt and transports the viewer into a disrupted mental state. As the house fractures, so does the viewer’s experience. This exhibition is presented as part of the AU Department of Art’s Visiting Artists Program and sponsored by The Burger Collection.

Yoga in the Galleries

December 2, 9, 10 a.m.

American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class provides mental clarity and relaxation in the peaceful surroundings of our art galleries. Please bring a mat. Cost is $10 for non-members and free for museum members. aumtickets.

Men’s Basketball vs. UMES

December 20, 1:30 p.m.

Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. Manhattan College

December 20, 5:30 p.m.

Bender Arena

Wrestling vs. Davidson University

December 21, 12 p.m.

Bender Arena

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