Enosinian Society

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The Enosinian Society of The George Washington University
Enosinian Society Seal.png
Motto "Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci"
(Latin for "He gets every vote who mixes the practical with the pleasurable")
Formation March 6, 1822
Type Literary Society
Legal status Active
Region served Washington, D.C., USA

The Enosinian Society is a student organization at George Washington University. Formed in 1822 during the first semester of the Columbian College, the Enosinian Society is the oldest student organization at the University.

General Information[edit]

The Enosinian Society was formed in 1822 during the first semester of the Columbian College. On March 6, 1822 students of the newly formed University gathering "for the purpose of establishing a debating society." A constitution was drafted and the society adopted the name of the "Enosinian." The original society met at Enosinian Hall, located on the fourth floor of the Columbian College's main building at College Hill, D.C. The society's first formal event was the celebration of Independence Day on July 4, 1822. In the fall of 1822, the Enosinian Society established its own library within the College's main library.

The emblem of the society was adopted in 1824, and a banner was gifted to society by the ladies of Washington, which remained in the society's hall until the sale of the College Hill campus in the 1870s.

Marquis de Lafayette visited Columbian College on December 13, 1824 and was greeted by the members of the Enosinian Society, who tended to Lafayette throughout his visit to the college. In return, Lafayette and his son agreed to be inducted as the first honorary members of the Enosinian Society. A bust was placed in the original Enosinian Hall in his honor.

In 1827, The Columbian College suspended operations due to financial issues, and consequently the society suspended its operations. With the reopening of the college in 1829, students gathered to reorganize the society; however, regular meetings and debates did not resume until 1833.

In 1838, the society established the Enosinian Bee, a weekly newspaper publishing the work of society members.

The society has disbanded several times throughout its history. Operations were disbanded during the American Civil War due to low enrollment in the College after many students left to fight in the conflict. The society continued to exist for most of the 20th Century, though members dropped "Enosinian" from the society's name during student protests of the Vietnam War, and the society died out.

More recently, the society was re-instated in 2005 and carried on until 2010, when the last member graduated. Debates during this period focused on political and ethical questions, and often occasionally drew large crowds. In September, 2012, the Enosinian Society was again re-instated.

Notable Enosinians[edit]

Honorary Enosinians[edit]