Fall 2023

November 2023 cover of American featuring President Burwell

Read about Sylvia Burwell’s changemaking presidency as she concludes her term on July 1. Learn more about human composting, which president coined the term “first lady,” and how far from AU the average first-year student hails. Discover if Americans will ever adopt Twitter’s new moniker and which bird is known as the anteater of the sky. Also in this issue: the delicate line between cultural appreciation and appropriation, the dirty secret about dirty politics, and the AU alumnus behind the Oscar-winning On Golden Pond.

Insights and Impact

Ladies First 

A first-of-its-kind textbook, coauthored by SPA's Anita McBride, “fills a gap in the academic literature” on America's first ladies 

Inside the Beltway

Sidewalk Style

Tim Doud, director of AU’s MFA studio art program, creates inaugural Art at Amtrak installation at DC's Union Station


Ball for the Best

Local legend Duane Simpkins is the 18th head coach of the AU men's basketball team

Inside the Beltway

A Powerful Perch 

Public history professor Kathleen Franz chronicles trailblazing entrepreneurs’ stories as part of the Smithsonian's American Enterprise exhibition 

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American Experience 

New poll from the Sine Institute reveals young adults crave happiness, freedom, and relationships 

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The Perfect Fit

AU's new Trans and Queer Cooperative is a joyful and safe space for students to explore and celebrate their identities

Insights and Impact

A Gold Star

Four decades on, author Ernest Thompson still transports audiences to On Golden Pond and destinations beyond

Insights and Impact

Wii Love Video Games

Phil Salvador, director of the Video Game History Foundation’s library, discovered his Call of Duty at five years old


Deter, Detect, Defend

AU's new Khan Institute, funded by a gift to the Change Can't Wait campaign, will explore threat scenarios through crisis response simulations 

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Reliable Source

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wesley Lowery turns a new page as executive editor of the Investigative Reporting Workshop

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Family Matters 

More than 1,300 Eagles and their 3,495 guests set a new attendance record during AU’s Family Weekend