Oh, The Places We’ll Go-Within Reach Visits DC (Part Two)

After walking and talking our way through the campus of The George Washington University, we were all more than ready for lunch! Our destination?


The Tombs, a subterranean Georgetown University favorite that serves all of its delicious menu items with heaping sides of Hoya pride. Founded in 1962 by a Georgetown alumnus, The Tombs is situated on the edge of the university’s campus and is a perfect gathering spot for out-of-town visitors, prospective students and parents, and seasoned Hoya basketball faithful alike.


Georgetown University


Rainbow-colored Georgetown rowhouses

Our group enjoyed a hearty (but quick) meal and headed out to take a student-led, private walking tour of Georgetown University’s historically picturesque campus. Our guide, Mikey, a now-graduated senior and future Wall Street analyst, navigated us efficiently through GU’s self-contained campus, pointing out academic buildings, student-run fairs, residence halls, and athletic facilities along the way. At one point in the tour, we climbed several flights of stairs (pictured below) to the top of Village A, an on-campus apartment complex for upperclassmen, and enjoyed an eagle’s eye view of Rosslyn, VA, and several historic Washington, DC, landmarks. Unfortunately, our camera battery died at that point, so we were not able to capture the view – until next time, Georgetown!


Climbing to the top of Georgetown University’s Village A

We were on a tight schedule, so we hopped in Ubers and made it to American University in time for a 2:00 information session. The first – and definitely most unique – thing we learned about AU wasn’t, in fact, a university accolade or impressive statistic about a noteworthy academic program. Instead, we heard – in quite animated terms – about the school’s strategic use of the word “wonk” – that is, a smart, focused, passionate, engaged person. In 2010, after two years of research and discussion about what makes AU different from other colleges and universities, a team of AU faculty, staff, and students publicly released the phrase “American Wonk” as central to the school’s new identity.


In 2015, AU honored former First Lady Laura Bush as its third ever “Wonk of the Year”. Mrs. Bush, who joins former Wonks of the Year President Bill Clinton and CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, was recognized for inciting change in the world; she made history on April 8, 2015, when she became the first First Lady to speak at American University via its student-run Kennedy Political Union.

In addition to valuing passion and service, American University looks for prospective wonks who:

  • have solid high school transcripts with academically rigorous course loads
  • acquire strong teacher and counselor recommendations; and
  • can write about something other than how much they like Washington, DC, in their supplemental essays!

Of course, the admissions process is more involved than the three bullets listed above, so we encourage all students interested in American University – or any school, for that matter – to do their homework. Visit websites, call admissions offices, get in touch with regional reps, and travel to campus when possible. Of course, we’re always available to answer questions, and we’ll be planning more college tours in the near future, so stay tuned!




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