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January 2017 - AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Neighbors Invited to Town Hall with President Kerwin & New Year’s Reception

People sitting in a room

American University invites its neighbors to the annual Town Hall meeting with President Neil Kerwin, to be followed by a New Year’s reception on January 5.

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 Town Hall will be followed by a New Year’s reception at 8 p.m. on the 2nd 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 DC Zoning Commission Order for AU’s 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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Community Audit Program Gears Up for Spring Semester

Community Audit Program

As you think of new endeavors and challenges for 2017, consider enrolling for 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 noncredit basis for a modest charge. Auditors may listen to the same lectures and work from the same texts as enrolled students.

For just $100, $75 of which serves as a donation to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, neighbors are provided with a rewarding way to enhance professional skills, take classes led by 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 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. The registration process for auditing courses has been streamlined to improve the user experience for both neighbors and alumni. For additional information, please visit or contact Emily Walrath at 202-885-5962.

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Neighbors Invited to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Activities

Martin Luther King in front of a large audience

The Center for Community Engagement and Service celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his commitment to service on Wednesday, Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., and invites neighbors and community members to join.

The MLK Day of Service offers participants the opportunity to engage directly with the local community to address issues related to education, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, hunger, seniors, women's health, and youth development. Last year, more than 250 volunteers from both AU and the local community served at 12 area non-profit organizations in honor of Dr. King’s commitment to service.
For more information on AU’s celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, visit

For additional information on volunteering, please contact Jose Cadiz at 202-885-3627 or As an institution, AU is committed to advancing social justice and civic responsibility. The Center for Community Engagement & Service (CCES) leads the AU community into the world to serve. From projects around DC to trips abroad, CCES stands with a university dedicated to improving lives in our global community.

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WAMU 88.5 Launches New Website


WAMU 88.5 is committed to bringing its listeners high-quality programming and local journalism that illuminates and inspires. Extending its mission to the digital space (, WAMU now has a new website that makes it easier than ever to view, listen, share, and respond.

Here are some of the new website’s enhancements:

  • The site is “responsive” and will work seamlessly on your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.  
  • The “persistent” audio player allows you to listen to programming continuously while you browse from page to page across the site.
  • The site’s contemporary new look comprises large, colorful images, a spacious and uncluttered organization of information, and clear headings throughout.
  • The site’s redesigned navigation makes it easier and more intuitive to find everything from programming schedules to the “contact us” page.

Currently in its soft launch phase, the station invites you to explore the site and its functions and let them know your first impressions. In the coming weeks, WAMU will work hard to ensure that any bugs and transitional issues you might experience on the site are resolved quickly.

The new site is designed to serve the Washington, DC region and beyond with news, information, and stories that help to increase understanding among everyone.


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DOEE Honors AU at 2016 Sustainability Awards

AU Sustainability Team

American University recently won the 2016 District Sustainability Award in the People’s Choice category at a ceremony held at the Embassy of Finland. The award, presented by Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Director Tommy Wells, recognizes outstanding achievements and leadership in sustainability. The honorees support the goals of the DC sustainability plan, Sustainable DC, in areas such as energy and water conservation, renewable energy production, healthy food access, stormwater management, green jobs development, and sustainable waste management.

AU’s People’s Choice Award was a new category to the District Sustainability Awards that allowed the public to cast their votes for the most sustainable entity from a ballot of nominees.

On receiving the award, AU’s Director of Sustainability Programs, Megan Litke said, “We are honored to have been recognized by our community across the city for our work in sustainability. American University’s continued commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2020 and adopting green strategies across our campus has allowed AU to become a living laboratory for sustainable practices that our students and community can learn from and enjoy. We are energized and ready to continue to work with DOEE, our fellow campuses, and our neighbors around the city to achieve the goals of Sustainable DC together.”

DOEE Director Tommy Wells added, “We know cities need to take bold action to lower greenhouse gas emissions nationally. It’s also clear that leadership from local governments and the private sector will be critical to increasing resilience and mitigating the effects of climate change. This year’s District of Columbia Sustainability Award winners illustrate how private sector partners are working with local government to test innovative concepts and integrate sustainability into everyday operations. They are true leaders in making the District a greener, healthier, more livable city.”

DC ranks first in the country for per capita LEED- and ENERGY STAR-certified square footage among large cities, first in the nation in per capita green roof square footage, and is a national leader in biking, walking, and transit commute rates.


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Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden Delivers Fall 2016 Commencement Address

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

American University celebrated its nearly 500 graduates who participated in the Fall Commencement Ceremony on December 21. Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, the first woman and first African American to lead the national library, delivered the keynote speech at AU’s 132nd commencement ceremony. She also was awarded an honorary doctoral degree.

The accomplishments of AU's August and December graduates were celebrated during the ceremony in Bender Arena on AU's campus. The ceremony was added to accommodate the growing numbers of students graduating early.

Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress in 2016. Shortly after being named to the nation’s top librarian position, Hayden described her appointment as “a librarian’s dream.” She has been an advocate for using technology to make the information available at the Library of Congress free and accessible to everyone.

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps, and manuscripts in its collections. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. The Library is the nation’s oldest federal institution, founded in 1800.

“The Library of Congress can really help libraries throughout the country show the worth of a library and a community,” Hayden said. “I encourage everyone to visit the Library in person, as well as explore its resources online from wherever you are and connect with us on social media.”

Hayden earned her B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago. She was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004 and has been a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board since 2010. In 1995, she received the Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden’s career also has included stints at public, academic, and special libraries. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as children’s librarian.


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Women’s Basketball vs. Colgate University
January 2, 2 – 4 p.m.
Bender Arena

Men’s Basketball vs. Bucknell University
January 5, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

Wrestling Tournament
January 6, 3 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. Lehigh University
January 7, 4 – 6 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. Boston University

January 11, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Coco Chanel: A New Portrait by Marion Pike, Paris 1967 - 71
January 13, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen AU Museum

The exhibit explores the profound friendship between California artist Marion Pike and legendary designer Coco Chanel. It features five portraits of Chanel, painted by Pike, following a meeting between the two women at Chanel's Paris atelier in 1967. The meeting sparked an immediate friendship between the women which is captured in a series of at least 13 expressive, color-saturated portraits of the fashion icon. In addition to the large-scale portraits, the exhibit features haute couture pieces styled by Coco Chanel for Marion and her daughter, Jeffie Pike Durham, who generously loaned all of the pieces for the collection. Curated by Amy de la Haye, London College of Fashion, this exhibit marks the first time this collection will be displayed in North America. 

Men’s Basketball vs. Army West Point

January 14, 2 – 4 p.m.
Bender Arena

Wrestling vs. Lehigh University
January 14, 7 – 9 p.m.
Bender Arena

Men’s Basketball vs. Lafayette College
January 18, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

Women’s Basketball vs. College of the Holy Cross
January 22, 1 – 3 p.m.
Bender Arena

Farmers’ Market
January 25, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Every Wednesday, the quad space around the Mary Graydon building buzzes with activity as students, faculty, staff, and neighbors browse goods ranging from farm-fresh vegetables to homemade breads and desserts at the AU Farmers’ Market. The market is a coordinated effort between AU and Pennsylvania-based Agora Farms. Upper Crust Bakery also offers a variety of fresh breads, including raisin pecan, harvest grain, pain de campagne, jalapeno cheddar, sourdough, challah, whole wheat, focaccia, black Russian, NY rye, artisan baguettes, and tea breads, as well as chocolate chip cookies, mini pies, and cobblers.

Men’s Basketball vs. United States Naval Academy
January 25, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Bender Arena

Not a time for silence: Personal Reflections on a Nation in Transition
January 26, 7 – 9:30 p.m.
Abramson Family Recital Hall

Six AU faculty members speak from their personal and professional experience about the current political discourse, potential policies, and their implications. This event is structured to include as many varying points of view as possible. Audience members will be able to ask questions and make comments anonymously prior to the event at Faculty will read as many comments as possible aloud and will make efforts to incorporate these comments into the evening. There will be two public comment periods as well. Event is first-come, first-seated.

Joe Cameron: Touching Air
January 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum, First-Floor Exhibition

The sixth exhibition in the Alper Initiative for Washington Art features Washington photographer Joe Cameron’s black and white photographs. Few photographers have been more interested in drawing and design, or more steeped in imagery whose analogues are poetic, musical, and phenomenological. Despite the continuity and traditionalism of his professional life as a long-time Washington, DC resident and teacher at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, Cameron ultimately has found himself in a milieu whose boundaries were perhaps more than ordinarily porous in relation to “purity” of any medium. He has found a way to use the camera in service to a visual quest that balances the subjective and the objective in a singular balancing act.
A catalog featuring an essay by Jane Livingston accompanies this exhibition.

Julie Wolfe: Quest for Third Paradise

January 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum, Second-Floor Exhibition

What if we could better understand our own human social systems – the means by which we communicate with each other, the patterns that govern our interdependence, and the minutiae that form those larger structures? And what if we could appreciate the infinitely more complex systems that thrive in our natural world? Perhaps we, as humans, could then see how we fit into a larger universal system housed by nature: an ecological world in which our relationship to nature is not adversarial, but one of peaceful coexistence. This is the vision of Julie Wolfe's Quest for a Third Paradise.

January 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum, First-Floor Exhibition

This exhibition presents a survey sample of the early Color Field paintings of Howard Mehring (1931-1978). Building on the late 1950s breakthrough stain paintings of Morris Louis and Ken Noland, Mehring was prominent amongst the artists of the loosely-defined Washington Color School. His initial Color Field pictures were made of dappled zones of subtle colors. By the mid-1960s, he changed his abstract style to one of geometric patterns using bolder colors, and by the end of the decade, Mehring had quit painting. He died prematurely in 1978 at age 47. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with a guest essay by art historian E. A. Carmean, Jr.

Mike Shaffer: Towers and Monuments
January 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum, First-Floor Exhibition

This exhibition presents sculptures and paintings that incorporate the artist’s career-long fascination with grid-patterning and perpendicular stacking techniques, selected from a body of work created by the artist beginning in the early 1970s to the present. The exhibition highlights Shaffer’s inventive combination of styles of Minimalism, Pop, and Conceptual art and is rooted in an empirical scientific method. The exhibition is curated by Bobby Donovan.

New Ruins
January 28, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Katzen Museum Second-Floor Exhibition

This exhibition explores the tactile, perceptual, and temporal dimensions of surface and form among a resonant grouping of abstract works. Physical processes such as rubbing, layering, building, wearing away and, on occasion, obliterating, combine to offer an alternative to the traditional painter’s mark, altering perception of time and presence. Materials such as bronze, marble, plaster, stone, metal, clay, and wood are used to expand the language of painting and its traditional viewing modes. New Ruins features works by N. Dash, Jessica Dickinson, Donald Moffett, Sam Moyer, Nathlie Provosty, and Brie Ruais. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the AU Studio Art Department, and is curated by Danielle Mysliwiec and Natalie Campbell. 

Men’s Basketball vs. Colgate University
January 29, 2 – 4 p.m.
Bender Arena

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