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AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

Campus Summer

July 2014

American University To Source 50 Percent Power From Solar

Solar Panels

In a major milestone in its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality, American University has entered into an agreement to source half its electricity from renewable power.

AU announced a 20-year solar energy purchase with partners George Washington University and George Washington University Hospital. The total project will supply the partners with 123 million kilowatt hours of emissions-free electricity per year, drawn from 243,000 solar panels at three sites in North Carolina. Comprising 52 megawatts of solar PV power, it is the largest non-utility solar PV power purchase agreement in the United States and the largest PV project east of the Mississippi River.

Commenting on the project, President Neil Kerwin said, "American University is firmly on its way to achieving carbon neutrality by 2020. We are home to the largest combined solar array in the District of Columbia, are resolved to growing green power through our purchase of renewable energy certificates, and are now a partner to the largest non-utility solar energy purchase in the United States."

By the end of 2015, solar power generated at the three sites will move through a North Carolina electrical grid into the D.C. regional grid.

"Solar power is a reliable renewable energy resource for AU to tap into," said Doug Kudravetz, interim chief financial officer. "This project realizes environmental benefits and is cost competitive with conventional energy sources, which are projected to increase over the next 20 years. The agreement provides fixed pricing for solar energy at a lower total price than current power solutions."

Addressing climate change has been a priority since Kerwin signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment in 2008, and two years later set an ambitious goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

The AU Climate Plan has four strategies to achieve neutrality: reduce consumption; produce renewable energy in the form of wind, solar, and waste; buy green power; and buy or develop offsets for travel and other unavoidable emissions.

For more information on this milestone achievement and AU’s efforts towards achieving carbon neutrality, read the entire article from which this story was excerpted.

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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

AU Music Ensembles Welcome Community Participants

Katzen Ensembles

The American University music program is pleased to invite community members to audition for the university’s orchestra, bands, and choirs. Each group meets weekly starting the first week in September and continues through the academic year.

For more information, please email the ensemble directors below. Auditions will be held the week of August 25.

AU Symphony Orchestra – Every Monday & Wednesday, 8:10 – 10:40 p.m.

Contact: Yaniv Dinur (

AU Symphonic Band – Every Tuesday, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Contact: Marc Decker (

AU Chorus – Every Tuesday, 7:30-10 p.m. and select Mondays 8 - 10 p.m.

Contact: Daniel Abraham (

AU Jazz Orchestra – Wednesday, 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Contact: Joshua Bayer (

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Community Audit Program Gears Up For Fall

Audit Program

Although summer is just settling in around campus, it is not too early for our neighbors to start thinking about their options for enrolling in a class during the fall 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.

“The community audit program is another great benefit for those who live close to the university. Our neighbors have some pretty 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,” said Andrew Huff, AU’s Director of Community Relations.

The course costs $100, of which $75 serves as a donation to the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund, a biennial award to an AU freshman legacy student. The audit program offers neighbors a rewarding way to enhance their professional skills, take classes with popular professors, delve into a new hobby, and pursue a commitment to lifelong learning.

This year, the Office of Alumni Relations has streamlined the registration process for auditing courses to improve the user experience for enrollees.

Registration for the fall semester opens on July 7. For additional information, please visit here or contact Kristena Wright at 202-885-5962.

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Neighborhood Movie Night Slated for August 22

Babe Film

Mark your calendars now for August 22 and plan to bring the whole family to campus for a picnic and outdoor screening of the classic 1995 film, Babe.

Babe is an adaptation of Dick King-Smith's 1983 novel The Sheep-Pig, also known as Babe: The Gallant Pig in the U.S., which tells the story of a pig who wants to be a sheepdog.

The movie will be screened at the Woods-Brown Amphitheatre at 8 p.m. Free popcorn will be provided and all are welcome to attend.

For additional information, contact Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations at 885-2167 or

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Mayoral Candidates to Again Debate on Campus

Mayoral Debate

American University, in collaboration with the Palisades Citizens Association, Ward 3 Vision, and the Kennedy Political Union, will host a debate among qualified candidates for Mayor of the District of Columbia on Thursday, September 18 at 7 p.m. in the Katzen Arts Center’s Abramson Recital Hall.

The debate will be moderated by NBC4’s Tom Sherwood and feature WAMU’s Patrick Madden and Kavitha Cardoza and The Washington Post’s Clinton Yates as panelists.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 5:30 p.m. on the day of the event outside of the Abramson Recital Hall. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

For additional information, please contact AU’s Director of Community Relations, Andrew Huff, at

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AU Updates Tenley Neighbors on WCL Project

Tenley Project

Representatives from American University, Whiting-Turner, and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) met recently with Tenleytown neighbors, representatives of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3E, the Tenleytown Historical Society, and the Tenley Neighbors Association to provide an update on the current phase of construction at the new Washington College of Law (WCL).

Neighbors were briefed about the conclusion of excavation and the project’s transition to the concrete-pouring phase. They also were told of the completion of the selective demolition inside Capital Hall and the Chapel, and about the installation underway currently of wall foundations and under-slab utilities at the lower parking garage level.

Additionally, presentations were made regarding the proposed traffic circles at 42nd and Warren Streets, a new sidewalk along Warren Street, and a neighborhood request to close or make the block of Warren Street that borders the WCL site into a one-way street.

“Providing regular updates to our neighbors is a big part of all of our projects,” said AU’s Director of Community Relations, Andrew Huff. “Our Tenley neighbors have been very supportive of the WCL project and we look forward to continuing our relationship with them when the project is complete.”

When construction is complete in fall 2015, WCL will be among the most technically advanced law schools in the country and the only one with a courthouse. The 312,000 square feet, light-filled, LEED-certified facility, will include flexible teaching spaces, expanded clinic space, teaching courtrooms, and multiple indoor and outdoor student study and meeting spaces throughout the campus. The enhanced Pence Law Library also will feature an Alumni Center that will provide the more than 18,000 alumni with research and business resources when they visit. The Tenley Campus also is located one block from the Metro, giving the legal community, business leaders, government officials, and alumni better access to the law school while providing students with a direct line to the heart of Washington, D.C.

Read more about the WCL at A live webcam also is available at here.

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AU President Neil Kerwin Updates Campus Community in Summer Video Message

Dr. Kerwin

As American University prepares for the 2014-2015 academic year, AU President Neil Kerwin presents a series of four brief videos that celebrate the American University community. The first video focuses primarily on AU’s academic achievements including:

- President Obama’s visit

- Student award winners

- Middle States accreditation

- Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program

- Commencement

Upcoming videos will showcase service, the campus plan and giving, and athletics and will appear on the AU website and social media outlets over the new few weeks.

Click here to watch President Kerwin’s message.

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Calendar of Events

Throughout July, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tues. – Sun.

Katzen Museum

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle

Artist Jess Collins and poet Robert Duncan formed one of the most fascinating artistic partnerships of the 20th century in San Francisco in the early 1950s. This exhibition examines their unique position as precursors of Postmodernism through more than 140 individual and collaborative works of art and letters from private and public collections.

Brink and Boundary

The four artists in Brink and Boundary transform the unconventional and underutilized spaces in the Katzen Art Center and AU Museum into sites of surprising and inventive installations.

Continental Drift

Judy Byron's solo-exhibition surveys the artist's work on paper and audio interviews and invites the viewer to consider the visual and auditory environment that informs identity. This exhibition focuses on the artist's own visual influences from three specific countries, Brazil, China, and Ghana.

Passionate Collectors: The Washington Print Club at 50

This exhibition highlights the collecting interest of the Washington Print Club collectors and artists since the club’s formation in 1964. The prints, drawings, watercolors, pastels, collages, and photographs in Passionate Collectors represent an important range of artists, styles, and aesthetic movements from the past five decades.


William Newman's series of nineteen oil paintings, photographs, and two metal sculptures, is a vibrant rumination on temporality, subjective freedom, and natural splendor. The photographs, photorealist paintings, and stainless steel sculptures present striking natural objects with personal resonance for Newman. Seen together, photographs that take a click to create and paintings that required years to produce join to represent nature's fleeting beauty, its life through memory and desire, and its timeless eternal renewal.

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund: Second Act

Conceived by legendary Washington art dealer Franz Bader and his wife, Virginia, The Bader Fund extends the benefits of their lifetime devotion to art onto others. Since the first exhibition of its kind ten years ago, the Bader Fund continues to be guided by simple and generous governing principles that provide grants to D.C. area artists, at least 40 years of age, with a compelling story. This second exhibition provides one more public look at the extraordinary range and quality of work by artists who have received grants from the Bader Fund in its first thirteen years of existence.

“So, What Brought You Here?” A Conversation With The Artist

July 17, 6 – 8 p.m.

Katzen Museum

Join artist Judy Byron for a reception and vibrant conversation about cultural drifts and personal identity in the context of the exhibition, Continental Drift.

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