Skip to main content

AU in the Neighborhood Newsletter

AU in the Neighborhood Community Relations Newsletter September 2013

April 2013

Tenleytown Neighbors Attend Pre-Construction Meeting; WCL Plans Discussed

On March 19, residents of the Tenleytown neighborhood, including representatives from Advisory Neighborhood Commissions 3E and 3F, Tenley Campus Neighborhood Association, and Tenleytown Historical Society attended a pre-construction meeting, as work is set to begin on AU’s new Washington College of Law (WCL). Attendees heard from the project’s general contractor, Whiting-Turner, and were provided information on schedule, parking, work hours, and who to contact with additional questions or issues.

The new law school will support a student population of 2,000 and a faculty and staff of 500, provide 50 percent more space than its current location, and feature 312,000 square feet of facilities and parking for 400 vehicles. Construction of the new campus will begin in June/July and finish in August 2015.

The new structures will be configured to define a prominent new identity for the law school, while also honoring the rich historic legacy of its site. To accomplish this goal, all construction will embrace and incorporate fully the historic Capital Hall and its chapel, as well as Dunblane House. It also will retain and reinforce the central quadrangle as an open and accessible green public space, and improve the front lawn and perimeter of the site to increase opportunities for public access and enjoyment. To accommodate the new plans, Congressional Hall, Federal Hall, and Constitution Building will be demolished. The new law school construction will include:

Capital Hall Renovation

Capital Hall’s interior will be renovated to adapt most of the existing structure for office and small meeting use. The lower level will be converted to student offices for legal briefs and journals. The first level will accommodate administrative support offices such as Student Affairs, Financial Aid, and the Registrar. Administrative offices also will occupy a majority of the second and third floors. The chapel will be renovated to accommodate the WCL Trial Advocacy program; the main sanctuary will house a ceremonial moot courtroom; and the lower level will serve as multiple, flexible teaching courtrooms. Capital Hall’s existing exterior service court will be converted into an enclosed atrium that will connect to a new law school building on Yuma Street. The atrium will serve as a common area for the east end of the WCL campus.

New Nebraska Avenue Building

This building will accommodate the law school’s ceremonial courtroom, a large lobby intended for small gatherings and receptions, and several large format tiered classrooms on its first floor. The second, third, and fourth floors will be home to the Pence Law Library and feature both formal and informal study areas, group study rooms, library collections, public legal resources, and administrative support areas.

New Yuma Street Building

This four-story building will be adjacent to Capital Hall and the chapel, and will be configured to engage seamlessly with Capital Hall’s formal integrity and architectural character. An enclosed atrium, to be built on the existing service court adjacent to Capital Hall, will connect the upper floors of this new building with Capital Hall. The floor level will include classrooms and a dining facility. The second level will include faculty offices and lounge, clinic and trial advocacy teaching spaces, as well as clinic spaces and clinic break-out classrooms. The third level will include additional faculty office space and clinic space. The top floor will accommodate the remaining large instructional spaces and tiered classrooms.

Click here for more information about the new Washington College of Law.

Return to top

AU Celebrates Earth Month with Campus Beautification Day & Other Activities

We invite our neighbors to join us for the bustle of activities on campus in April to celebrate Earth Month.

As one of AU’s largest community events, Earth Month provides an opportunity for campus organizations, clubs, departments, programs, and offices to showcase their own active pursuits of sustainability. In 2012, more than 50 events included performances, academic lectures, expert panels, test-driving electric vehicles, hands-on demonstrations and workshops, and a keynote lecture by then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson hosted by the Kogod School of Business.

This year, Earth Month will feature a celebration of alternative fuels, an all-new Day of Sustainable Service open to the campus community, and the 20th annual Campus Beautification Day. Events and activities during the month include Sustainable Service Day in which the AU community will brings its spirit of community service to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens; a lecture by renowned green architect and visionary William McDonough; networking events for alumni working in the environmental and sustainability fields; and speakers, performances, workshops, festivals, and symposia across the AU community.

Learn more about Earth Month and find a full schedule of events, updated daily, at Please contact the Office of Sustainability at or 202-885-6262 with questions.

Campus Beautification Day will be held on Tuesday, April 16 and provide students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to pitch in to help beautify the campus planting new trees, shrubs, and flowers. This event is a university tradition which incorporates both campus beautification and sustainability goals and strives to build and strengthen the AU community by bringing together staff, faculty, students, and neighbors.

If you’d like to join in, please contact Andrew Huff, Director of Community Relations, at or (202) 885-2167.

Return to top

'Wagshal’s On New Mexico’ Set to Open In April

American University is pleased to welcome the Wagshal’s Family of Fine Foods to the neighborhood. Wagshal’s has been serving the Spring Valley neighborhood since 1925 and will open its second location at 3201 New Mexico Avenue, NW later this month.

“Expanding into this new location enables us to serve even more of the community and we are thrilled to now be a part of Wesley Heights,” said Bill Fuchs, President of Wagshal’s, who lives in the neighborhood.

In keeping with the Wagshal’s tradition, Wagshal’s on New Mexico will provide area residents prepared foods, butchery, sandwiches, a custom bakery featuring freshly made artisanal breads and handmade pastries from their central kitchen.

The 4,000 sq. ft. location also will offer fresh market options including local and organic produce and fresh seafood. Patrons will be able to create their own custom sandwiches as well as salads from a self-serve salad station, and select items from a hot food bar.

The new location will include indoor seating and an outdoor patio for casual dining. For additional information on Wagshal’s and their new location, visit

Return to top

AU Fields First Solar Decathlon Team

American University students from the School of Communication (SOC) form an important part of Team Capitol DC, the group of DC-based university students participating in the 2013 Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California. This biennial event, hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy, challenges twenty groups of students from top universities around the world to design, build, and operate houses with innovative sustainable solutions that take them “off the grid.”

Team Capitol DC consists of students from AU, the Catholic University of America (CUA), and the George Washington University (GWU). CUA students provide architecture and mechanical engineering expertise, while GWU students work on interior design and landscaping. The house they are building – with the goal of donating it to a disabled veteran after the competition – is named Harvest. The role of the AU students is to tell the visual story of Harvest from its creation and initial construction in January 2013 through the actual judged competition in October.

Harvest’s primary themes are “beginning again” and “renewal,” and will help educate the public about how these concepts can be combined with clean energy technologies in the home. It is the only home in the competition being designed for a specific client, and its future occupants will find it a perfect place to emphasize recovery with special features focusing on assistance with impaired mobility, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, and other factors important to veterans. Communications are part of the judging criteria, so the SOC students have the task of conveying this unique vision to the public during the course of its nearly year-long construction process. The students plan to utilize many cutting-edge communication methods, including an online webinar series, social media, 3D and graphic design, and more.

Learn more and follow Team Capitol DC from now through the competition this fall with the following links:






Return to top

Katzen Arts Center Offers Members Only Preview Night April 5

Join the American University Museum on a special night for museum members only.

Preview the spring exhibitions before they open and attend an exclusive tour with curator/director Jack Rasmussen at 6:15 p.m. Cap the night off with delicious wine and chocolate pairings courtesy of Divine Chocolates. The event begins at 5 p.m.

The 2013 spring exhibitions open on April 6 and include Lee Haner: Mischief; Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature; Timothy App: The Aesthetics of Precision, Forty-Five Years; Saturation Point: Nudashank Presents Jordan Bernier, David Armacost, Jamie Felton, and Alex Da Corte; and Flavor of the Month: 1st Year MFA Exhibition.

Not a member? Visit here to join.

Return to top

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow to Address AU

Rachel Maddow, author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power and host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, will speak at AU on April 21 at 3 p.m. in Bender Arena. The event is sponsored by the Student Government Kennedy Political Union and the AU Graduate Leadership Council. Maddow’s appearance will be part of a tour for the paperback release of her book.

Visit here for more information.

Return to top

Neighbors Invited to Community Service Showcase

Find out what American University students are doing to improve the community. American University Student Government, in conjunction with several student groups, is proud to present the D.C. Community Service Showcase. This event will feature presentations from the Community Service Coalition, Eco-Sense, Alpha Phi Omega, and other service-oriented organizations.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Apr. 3 from 5:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. in the McDowell Hall Formal Lounge.

Enjoy light refreshments as you learn about past service projects, upcoming efforts, and other ways to get involved and make a difference in the neighborhood. This event is free and open to the community.

Return to top

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



Calendar of Events

"Women in Broadcasting," featuring AU alum Betsy Martin (NBC's Meet the Press) Tuesday, April 2, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Mary Graydon Center Room Four 

Betsy Fischer Martin, SPA/BA '92, SOC/MA '96, presents backstage insights from her tenure as senior executive producer of Meet the Press, NBC's number one-rated Sunday morning public affairs program. She has produced interviews with U.S. Presidents, key Cabinet officials, and heads of state. Moderated by Professor Iris Krasnow, she will share stories and discuss her extraordinary career ascent from intern to producer of the longest running television program in the world.


Thursday, April 4 – Saturday, April 6, 80 p.m.

Saturday, April 6, 2 p.m.

Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre

Provocative, bawdy, and insightful, this Studio 54 version of Cabaret will have you engaged from the onset. Written by Christopher Isherwood, the play is set in Berlin in 1931 as the Nazis are rising to power. It is the story of 19-year-old performer Sally Bowles, who works at the seedy Kit Kat Club, and her romance with an American writer who travels to Germany for inspiration for a new novel. She learns that life is an odd cabaret, rife with challenges, turmoil, and the need to make bold choices. Tickets: $15 regular admission, $10 AU community and seniors.

JFK at AU: The Strength of Dialogue: In Honor of JFK's Commencement Address (1963-2013)
Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ward Circle 1
Former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's son and the ambassador to Russia both will be present at this event.

Katzen Cinema Series: Double Take

Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m.

Katzen Arts Center Johan Grimonprez's ingenious documentary/fiction hybrid – a meditation on identity, filmmaking, power, and paranoia – looks at Alfred Hitchcock's late '50s and early '60s films against the climate of Cold War-era political anxiety. Taking inspiration from a short story written by Jorge Luis Borges and using a meticulous array of archival footage, director Grimonprez traces the global rise of fear as a commodity, examining modern history through the lens of mass media, advertising, and Hollywood. Admission is free.

Spring Dance Concert: Backyards and Frontiers

Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, 8 p. m.

Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre

Our annual main stage concert presents fresh and seasoned perspectives on modern and jazz dance choreographed AU faculty and students and guest artists. On April 20, we will kick off the establishment of the Dr. Naima Prevots Guest Artist Fund with a pre-show panel discussion on the legacy of dance leadership featuring distinguished alumni. A reception with Dr. Prevots follows the show. Tickets: $15 regular admission, $10 AU community and seniors.

FDR and the Jews

Monday, April 22, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall

Join Distinguished University Professors Richard Breitman and Allan Lichtman as they discuss their new book, FDR and the Jews. A book signing will take place after the discussion.

AU Symphonic Band

Friday, April 26, 8 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center

Join the AU Symphonic Band in a program of classic works for the symphonic wind band. The program will feature original works for band as well as classic transcriptions. Tickets: $10 regular admission, $5 AU community and seniors.

AU Jazz Orchestra: Spring Forward–Swing Back

Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m.

Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center

Join the American University Jazz Orchestra for a spring evening of big band jazz. Joined by special guest Robert Redd, the American University Jazz Orchestra will play a concert of jazz standards from swing to bop to funk. Tickets: $10 regular admission, $5 AU community and seniors.

Tuesday, Apr. 2, 4 – 6 p.m., Jacobs Field

Women’s Lacrosse vs. University of Virginia

Sunday, Apr. 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Jacobs Field

Greek Week Games

Sunday, Apr. 7, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sports Center Outdoor Basketball Courts

Greek Week Games

Tuesday, Apr. 9, 3 – 5 p.m., Jacobs Field

Women’s Lacrosse vs. Towson University

Sunday, Apr. 21, 12 – 2 p.m., Jacobs Field

Women’s Lacrosse vs. United States Naval Academy

For event details and a full list of all upcoming events, see the University Events Calendar.

For a listing of upcoming events for AU alumni, please visit the Alumni Events Calendar.

Return to top