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American University

Coordinates: 38°56′14″N 77°05′13″W / 38.9371°N 77.0869°W / 38.9371; -77.0869
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American University
MottoPro deo et patria (Latin)
Motto in English
"For God and Country"
TypePrivate federally chartered research university
EstablishedFebruary 24, 1893; 131 years ago (1893-02-24)
FounderJohn Fletcher Hurst
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
Academic affiliations
Endowment$908.9 million (2022)[1]
PresidentSylvia Mathews Burwell
ProvostVicky M. Wilkins (acting)
Students13,019 (Fall 2023)[2]
Undergraduates7,571 (Fall 2023)
Postgraduates3,613 (Fall 2023)
Other students
1,835 (Fall 2023)
Location, ,
United States

38°56′14″N 77°05′13″W / 38.9371°N 77.0869°W / 38.9371; -77.0869
CampusLarge City,[3] 90 acres (36 ha)
NewspaperThe Eagle
Colors  Red
Sporting affiliations
MascotClawed Z. Eagle
The American University flag

The American University (AU or American) is a private federally chartered research university in Washington, D.C. Its main campus spans 90 acres (36 ha) on Ward Circle, mostly in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest D.C. AU was chartered by an Act of Congress in 1893 at the urging of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who sought to create an institution that would promote public service, internationalism, and pragmatic idealism.[4][5] AU broke ground in 1902, opened as a graduate education institution in 1914, and admitted its first undergraduates in 1925. Although affiliated with the United Methodist Church, religious affiliation is not a criterion for admission.

American University has eight schools and colleges: the School of International Service, College of Arts and Sciences, Kogod School of Business, School of Communication, Professional Studies and Executive Education, School of Public Affairs, School of Education,[6] and the Washington College of Law (WCL). It has over 160 programs, including 71 bachelor's degrees, 87 master's degrees, and 10 doctoral degrees, as well as JD, LLM, and SJD programs. AU's student body numbers over 13,000 and represents all 50 U.S. states and 141 countries; around a fifth of students are international. American University is among the top three feeder schools to the Department of State.[7] It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[8]

The university owns National Public Radio's flagship capital affiliate, WAMU, which has been a source of nationally and internationally distributed programming such as The Diane Rehm Show and the more recent 1A, styled as "the 1A", as in "the 1st Amendment".[9]



The front gate at American University
American University in 1916

The American University was established in the District of Columbia by an Act of Congress on December 5, 1892, primarily due to the efforts of Methodist bishop John Fletcher Hurst, who aimed to create an institution that could train future public servants. Hurst also chose the university's site, which was in the rural periphery of the District. After more than three decades devoted principally to securing financial support, the university was officially dedicated on May 15, 1914, with its first instructions beginning October of that year when 28 students were enrolled, 19 of whom were graduates and the remainder special students not candidates for a degree. The First Commencement, at which no degrees were awarded, was held on June 2, 1915. The Second Annual Commencement was held the following year and saw the awarding of the first degrees: one master's degree and two doctor's degrees. AU admitted both women and African Americans, which was uncommon in higher education at the time. Among its first 28 students were five women, while an African American doctoral student was admitted in 1915.

Birthplace of Army Chemical Corps

Shortly after these early commencement ceremonies, classes were interrupted by war. During World War I, the university allowed the U.S. military to use some of its grounds for testing. In 1917, the U.S. military divided American University into two segments, Camp American University and Camp Leach. Camp American University became the birthplace of the United States' chemical weapons program and the site of chemical weapons testing;[10] this required a major cleanup effort in the 1990s. Camp Leach was home to advanced research, development, and testing of modern camouflage techniques. As of 2014, the Army Corps of Engineers was still removing ordnance including mustard gas and mortar shells.

Instruction was first offered only at the graduate level, in accordance with the plan of the founders. This changed in 1925 with the establishment of the College of Liberal Arts (subsequently named the College of Arts and Sciences), which offered the first undergraduate degrees and programs. What is now the School of Public Affairs was founded in 1934,[11] partly to educate future federal employees in new approaches to public administration introduced by the New Deal; during the event commemorating its launch, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stressed cooperation between the school and his administration.

AU's relationship with the U.S. government continued during World War II, when the campus hosted the U.S. Navy Bomb Disposal School and a WAVE barracks. For AU's role in these wartime efforts, the Victory ship SS American Victory was named in its honor.

Post-war expansion (1949–1990)[edit]

President John F. Kennedy delivers the commencement address at American University, June 10, 1963

The post-war period saw considerable growth and restructuring of AU. In 1947, the Washington Semester Program was established, pioneering the concept of semester-long internships in the nation's capital. In 1949, the university merged with the Washington College of Law, which began in 1896 as the first law school founded by women and the first coeducational institution for the professional study of law in the District. Shortly after that, three departments were reorganized as schools: the School of Business Administration in 1955 (subsequently named the Robert P. and Arlene R. Kogod College of Business Administration and in 1999, renamed the Kogod School of Business); the School of Government and Public Administration in 1957; and the School of International Service in 1958.

In the early 1960s, the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency operated the FFRDC Special Operations Research Office as a think tank at American University. AU's political involvement was furthered by President John F. Kennedy's Spring 1963 commencement address.[12] In the speech, Kennedy called on the Soviet Union to work with the United States to achieve a nuclear test ban treaty and to reduce the considerable international tensions and the specter of nuclear war during that juncture of the Cold War.

From 1965 to 1977, the College of Continuing Education existed as a degree-granting college responsible for on- and off-campus adult education programs. The Lucy Webb Hayes School of Nursing provided an undergraduate study in Nursing from 1965 until 1988. In 1972, the School of Government and Public Administration, the School of International Service, the Center for Technology and Administration, and the Center for the Administration of Justice (subsequently named the School of Justice) were incorporated into the College of Public and International Affairs.

The university bought the Immaculata Campus in 1986 to alleviate space problems. This would later become Tenley Campus.

In 1986, construction on the Adnan Khashoggi Sports and Convocation Center began. Financed with $5 million from and named for Saudi Arabian Trustee Adnan Khashoggi, the building was intended to update athletics facilities and provide a new arena, as well as a parking garage and office space for administrative services. Costing an estimated $19 million, the building represented the largest construction project to date but met protest by both faculty and students to the university's use of Khashoggi's name on the building due to his involvement in the international arms trade.[13]

In 1988, the College of Public and International Affairs was reorganized to create two free-standing schools: the School of International Service and the School of Public Affairs, incorporating the School of Government and Public Administration and the School of Justice. That same year, construction of the Adnan Khashoggi Sports Center was completed while the Iran–Contra Affair controversy was at its height, although his name remained on the building until after Khashoggi defaulted on his donation obligation in the mid-to-late 1990s.

Present day[edit]

Aerial view of the American University campus, with Tenleytown in the background, in 2019
American University

The School of Communication became independent from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1993.

In 1997, American University of Sharjah, the only coeducational, liberal arts university in the United Arab Emirates, signed a two-year contract with AU to provide academic management. This contract has since been extended multiple times through August 2009. A team of senior AU administrators relocated to Sharjah to assist in the establishment of the university and guide it through the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation process.

In fall 2005, the new Katzen Arts Center opened.

Benjamin Ladner was suspended from his position as president of the university on August 24, 2005, pending an investigation into possible misuse of university funds for his personal expenses. University faculty passed votes of no confidence in President Ladner on September 26.[14] On October 10, 2005, the board of trustees of American University decided that Ladner would not return to American University as its president.[15] Cornelius M. Kerwin, a long-time AU administrator, served as interim president and was appointed to the position permanently on September 1, 2007, after two outsiders declined an offer from the board of trustees.[16] According to The Chronicle of Higher Education,[17] Ladner received a total compensation of $4,270,665 in his final year of service, the second highest of any university president in the United States.

Ground was broken for the new School of International Service building on November 14, 2007, and completed in 2010. A speech was given by Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI).

In 2015, American began to offer an accredited, accelerated online MBA program.[18][19]

Neil Kerwin retired as AU's president at the end of May 2017.[20] The current president is Sylvia Mathews Burwell whose tenure officially began on June 1, 2017.[21] Jonathan Alger will follow Burwell in office as of July 1, 2024.[22]

As of the 2017–2018 academic year, a female tuxedo feral cat took up residence on the campus grounds near the McKinley School of Communications building. School students and staff maintained the cat's shelter and feeding station and dubbed her "Wonk Cat".[23] Wonk Cat has been adopted by the campus community at large, including in university social media postings and her own student-run social media sites.[24] During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wonk cat went missing and has not been found.[citation needed]

In 2017, Taylor Dumpson became AU's first female black student body president. In her first full day in office, bananas were found at three places on campus, hanging from noose-like ropes, and marked with the initials "AKA", which are also the initials of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. The university considered the incident to be racist, and then-president Neil Kerwin called it a "cowardly, despicable act." In May 2018, the school said it had exhausted "all credible leads" about who had perpetrated the incident.[25][26]

Also in May 2018, Dumpson filed a lawsuit against several people, including Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer. She accused Anglin of organizing a racist and sexist trolling campaign against her.[27] She alleged that Anglin posted her name, her picture, links to her Facebook page, and the Twitter page of the university's student government, and urged his readers to "troll storm" her, which resulted in many hate-filled and racist online messages directed at her. A federal judge ordered the defendants to pay more than $101,000 in compensatory damages, $500,000 in punitive damages, and more than $124,000 in attorney's fees. Dumpson also entered a restraining order against him. Although Dumpson and Anglin have not settled, she settled in December 2018 with one of the people who harassed her, a man from Oregon who was required to apologize, to renounce white supremacy, to stop trolling and doxing online, and to provide information to and cooperate with authorities in the prosecution of white supremacists.[26]

In 2019, the School of Education (SOE) split from the College of Arts and Sciences.[28] According to Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy (Dean of SOE) the move was made to "encourage more students to pursue careers in education".[28] Areas of study that students can pursue within the school include: teacher education, special education, education policy, and leadership and international education. The school is home to the Institute for Innovation in Education and the newly created Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success.[29][28]

On April 22, 2020, AU announced that it had divested its endowment of fossil fuels, becoming one of the first universities in the United States to completely divest of both direct and indirect fossil fuel holdings.[30][31] Following a student referendum in favor of divestment, the AU board of trustees voted against divesting the endowment in 2014.[32] The decision to divest in 2020 came after extensive student campaigning from groups like Fossil Free AU and the undergraduate student government.[33][31] In 2020, Fossil Free AU pushed for a second student referendum on the subject, and the student government released a report on divestment, presented to the board of trustees by student comptroller Robert Zitzmann.[31][33][34][35]


Eric Friedheim Quadrangle

American University has two contiguous campuses for academics and student housing: the main campus on Massachusetts Avenue and the East Campus on Nebraska Avenue. The Washington College of Law has since been moved to the site of the Tenley Campus located in Tenleytown. Additionally, AU owns several other buildings in the Tenleytown, Spring Valley, the East Campus in Wesley Heights, and American University Park areas.

American University

The first design for the campus was done by Frederick Law Olmsted. However, it was significantly modified over time due to financial constraints. The campus occupies 84 acres (340,000 m2) adjacent to Ward Circle, the intersection of Nebraska and Massachusetts Avenues. AU's campus is predominantly surrounded by the affluent residential neighborhoods characteristic of the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. The campus includes a main quadrangle surrounded by academic buildings, nine residential halls, a 5,000-seat arena, and an outdoor amphitheater. The campus has been designated a public garden and arboretum by the American Public Gardens Association, with many foreign and exotic plants and trees dotting the landscape.[36]

Academic and recreational buildings[edit]

Hurst Hall
  • Hurst Hall: First building of the university, ground was broken in 1896 for what was to be the College of History. The architects were Van Brunt & Howe. With the opening of the Hall of Science, the building now houses various departments and classrooms.
  • Katzen Arts Center: Provided for by a monetary gift from Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen, the building opened in 2005 and is now home to the Departments of Performing Arts (such as dance), Studio Arts, Graphic Design, and Art History, the American University Museum, and other Academic Departments.
Katzen Arts Center
  • Kay Spiritual Life Center: built in 1963 as a multi-denominational place of worship. Nicknamed the "flaming cupcake" due to its round shape and 16-foot-tall impressionistic flame top, Kay is home to offices of the university chaplains and is used for speeches, performances, and community events.
  • Kerwin Hall: The largest classroom building on campus, built in 1968 as a home for the School of Government and Public Administration (now the School of Public Affairs).
  • Kogod School of Business: Formerly known as the Myers-Hutchins Building, and previous home to the Washington College of Law. Construction finished in January 2009 to annex it to the now empty Experimental Theater and Butler Instructional Center.
  • Mary Graydon Center: Commonly called MGC, it is the university's student union. Home to student organization offices, the main dining facilities, including the Terrace Dining Room (TDR) or "Tedes", The Bridge Coffee Shop,[39] and is interconnected to Butler Pavilion.
McKinley Building
School of International Service
  • School of International Service: Ground broken by President Dwight Eisenhower. The new building opened for the 2010–2011 school year, with classes continuing to be also held in the original building, which has since been renamed the "East Quad Building", next door. The School of International Service has an enrollment of over 2,000 undergraduate students and an enrollment of over 900 graduate students.[40] The new building is LEED Gold certified.
  • Sports Center: Bender Arena, Reeves Aquatic Center, Jacobs Fitness Center (see Athletics below)
  • American University (Bender) Library, which holds over a million books.

Residence halls[edit]

The Woods-Brown Amphitheatre
East Campus Residence Hall

Housing is guaranteed for two years. Most freshman and sophomore students choose to live on campus. First-year students are not required to live on campus.

The university added 590 beds in 2017 with the opening of East Campus. Residence halls on the main campus are grouped into three "campuses".

  • North Campus, commonly referred to as "North Side":
    • Hughes Hall
    • Leonard Hall
    • McDowell Hall, which is set to be renovated by Fall 2024.
    • Nebraska Hall, located across Massachusetts Avenue from the main campus. It features apartment-style residences of 2 to 4 bedrooms in a suite.
    • Cassell Hall, opened for the Fall 2013 semester.[41] This residence hall is equipped with a 8,000 sq ft (740 m2) fitness facility and is LEED Silver certified.[42]
  • East Campus, completed construction in 2017, includes these LEED Gold certified, suite-style residence halls:
    • Duber Hall (formerly Congressional Hall)
    • Constitution Hall
    • Federal Hall
  • South Campus, commonly referred to as "South Side":
    • Anderson Hall, the largest first-year residence hall on campus.
    • Centennial Hall, featuring suite-style living originally intended as housing for upperclassmen.
    • Letts Hall, named after John C. Letts, university trustee and president of the board of trustees from 1921 until 1931.
    • Roper Hall, home to AU's Black Affinity Housing program.

Tenley Campus[edit]

Capital Hall, Tenley Campus, American University

Formerly the Immaculata School, Tenley Campus is located half a mile east of the main campus and was purchased by American University in 1987 specifically for the Washington Semester program. Since 2016, Tenley Campus has been home to American University's law school, the Washington College of Law. Over several years, former dormitory halls and academic buildings were torn down and replaced with many newer, more contemporary academic buildings that now house the Washington College of Law. Graduates are reportedly saddled with enormous amounts of debt, and in 2022 only 69% of graduates held jobs that required they pass the Bar.[43][44]


The university is composed of eight divisions, referred to as colleges or schools, which house its academic programs. Except for WCL, undergraduate and graduate courses are housed within the same division, although organized into different programs. These colleges and schools are:

American University is also home to a unique program known as the Washington Semester Program. This program partners with institutions around the world to bring students to AU for a semester. The program operates as part of the School of Professional & Extended Studies. The program combines two seminar courses three days a week with a two-day-per-week internship that gives students a unique look at Washington, D.C.[45]

Admissions and student demographics[edit]

Demographics of the Student Body at American University (2019)[46][47] vs. U.S. College Students[48]
Undergraduate U.S. (2018)
White 51.3% 55.2%
Asian 6.3% 7.0%
Hispanic 11.4% 19.5%
Black 6.5% 13.4%
Two or More Races 4.3% 3.9%
American Indian 0.1% 0.7%
Pacific Islander 0.1% 0.3%
International 15.8% N/A
Unknown 4.2% N/A
Male 38% 43%
Female 62% 57%
Undergraduate admissions statistics
2019 entering
class[49]Change vs.

Admit rate32%
(Neutral decrease −8.2)
Yield rate26.2%
(Increase +4)
Test scores middle 50%[i]
SAT EBRW620–700
SAT Math590–690
ACT Composite27–31
  1. ^ Among students who chose to submit

Admission to American is considered to be "more selective" by the U.S. News & World Report.[51] For the Class of 2023 (enrolling fall 2019), AU received 18,545 freshmen applications; 6,691 were admitted (36%) and 1,755 enrolled.[46] The middle 50% range of SAT scores were 590–690 for Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 590–690 for Math.[46] The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 27–31.[46]

Study abroad[edit]

The U.S. News & World Report has ranked American University 7th in Study Abroad programs.[52] American University operates three premier programs in Brussels, Belgium; Madrid, Spain; and Nairobi, Kenya but, also partners with universities across the globe.


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[54]105
Washington Monthly[55]118
WSJ/College Pulse[56]132
U.S. News & World Report[59]590

American University's undergraduate program was tied for 105th overall among "national universities" in U.S. News & World Report's 2024 rankings, tied for 31st in "Best Undergraduate Teaching", tied for 46th in "Most Innovative Schools", and 120nd in "Best Value Schools".[52]

In 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2018, American University was named the most politically active school in the nation by The Princeton Review's annual survey of college students.[60][61] In 2006, the Fiske Guide to Colleges ranked AU as a "Best Buy" college for the quality of academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance. However, in 2013, the Daily Beast listed the school in their list of "20 Least Affordable Colleges".[62] For two years in a row, American University has had more students chosen to receive Presidential Management Fellowships than any other college or university in the country. In spring 2006, 34 graduate and law students were chosen for the honor.[63] American University routinely ranks among the top mid-sized universities for producing Peace Corps volunteers.[64]

Among The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) schools, AU School of International Service has the largest number of minority students and female students. It is ranked 6th among APSIA schools in numbers of international students.[63] A review in Foreign Policy Magazine ranked the school 8th in the country for preparing future foreign policy professionals and 25th for academic careers. SIS's undergraduate programs earned a spot at number 11, and its graduate programs were ranked number 8.[65] Because the field of international relations is not evaluated by U.S. News & World Report, the College of William and Mary recently published the results of their survey, which ranked the AU international relations master's degree in the top 10 in the United States and the doctoral degree in the top 25.[63] The School of Communication is among the top 25 in the nation, and it graduates the third-largest number of communication professionals among U.S. colleges and universities.[63] The School of Public Affairs is ranked 10th in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report for 2023.[66]

Folio literary magazine[edit]

DisciplineLiterary journal
Edited byJenny Dunnington
Publication details
American University (United States)
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Folio
OCLC no.20236678

Folio is a literary magazine founded in 1984 and based at American University.[67][better source needed] It publishes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction twice each year. Folio has printed interviews with prominent writers, most recently Ann Beattie, Alice Fulton, Leslie Pietrzyk, Gregory Orr, and Adam Haslett. Work that has appeared in Folio was short-listed for the Pushcart Prize multiple time in the 1980s. Among the notable stories that first appeared in Folio are Jacob M. Appel's "Fata Morgana" and "Becoming Coretta Davis" by I. Bennett Capers.

Sine Institute[edit]

On September 24, 2018, AU President Sylvia M. Burwell announced the Sine Institute of Policy and Politics.[68] Taking advantage of AU's location in the nation's capital, the institute will bring together scholars, journalists, and experts from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to find common ground and bipartisan policy solutions to the nation's problems.[69] The Sine Institute launched with a conversation between Burwell and Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee.[70] Amy K. Dacey is the first and current executive director of the Sine Institute.[71]

Library system[edit]

American University Library
LocationWashington, D. C.
Established1926 as Battelle Library
Sizeover 1 million volumes
Access and use
Population served10,000 students & 1,000 faculty
Other information
DirectorJeehyun Davis
Employees72 (full-time)
The Jack I. and Dorothy G. Bender Library and Learning Resources Center sits at the top of the Eric Friedheim Quadrangle.

The Jack I. and Dorothy G. Bender Library and Learning Resources Center is the main library facility for the campus. The University Library is part of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC), which includes seven other libraries. The WRLC operates a consortium loan service between member institutions and has a shared collections site in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

The Library's Archives and Special Collections houses unique and rare materials and information on the institution's history. The University Archives is the repository for papers and other documents, including sound recordings and photographs, spanning more than a century of the university's history. Special Collections houses rare materials.[72]

Campus life[edit]

AU has over 150 recognized organizations on campus, ranging from political to social.

There is an internationally top-ranked Model United Nations team (ranking 1st in North America following the 2021–2022 academic year).[73] The team competes actively at intercollegiate tournaments, and also hosts "AmeriMUNC" (American Model United Nations Conference) a yearly High School Model UN competition on campus.[74][75]

American University Student Government (AUSG) is the governing body of the student population and has been ranked as the most active student government in the United States.[76] It comprises the Undergraduate Senate and the Executive Branch. AUSG promotes advocacy and launches initiatives on campus supported by the student body.[77][78]

AU has eight student-run university-recognized media organizations, including The Eagle newspaper, radio station WVAU, the Second District Records record label, the American Literary Magazine (AmLit), and several magazines. These media organizations are governed by a Student Media Board and are funded through the university's undergraduate student activity fee:[79]

Religious life[edit]

While AU is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and hosts the AU United Methodist Community,[80] AU has a variety of other religious life groups, including Catholic,[81] Chabad Lubavitch of the AU Community,[82] American University Hillel,[83] and the Jewish Student Association.[84]

Greek life[edit]

American University has a Panhellenic Association (PHA), Interfraternity Council (IFC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), and Multicultural Greek Council (MGC).[85][86] There are also several independent organizations.


In 2008, American University joined more than 500 other US universities in signing the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, demonstrating the university's commitment to environmental responsibility. Within a year, American University's Office of Sustainability was established.

An environmental science class at American conducted a study from February to April 2009 to measure the amount of food waste avoided by eliminating trays from one of the college's dining halls. The class found that trayless dinners resulted in 47.1% less solid waste than dinners during which trays were used, spurring a student-driven campaign to go trayless across campus.[87]

In 2011, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) awarded American University a gold rating, the highest possible, on their STARS scale for sustainability. Since then, American University has earned five consecutive gold ratings, the most recent in 2020.[88]

Also in 2011, American University's School of International Service building earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for its 70,000 square foot building renowned for sustainable design and "cradle-to-cradle" philosophy.[89]

In 2014, American University ranked #2 in the Sierra Club's list of the 'Top 10 Greenest Colleges'.[90]

In 2014, the university announced an ambitious project to build a solar farm in partnership with George Washington University.[91] As of January 2016, the completed solar farm provides an equivalent of 50% of the university's electricity.[92]

In 2018, American University became the first university in the United States to achieve carbon-neutral status.[93] In 2020, AU announced that it had eliminated all public fossil fuel investments from its endowment.[94]


Reeves Field

A member of the Patriot League,[95] AU has several sports teams including men's and women's basketball, soccer, cross-country, swimming and diving, track, women's volleyball, field hockey, and lacrosse, and men's wrestling. Club sports, such as tennis, rugby, rowing, ice hockey, field hockey, equestrian and ultimate frisbee also have teams.

Bender Arena, a multi-purpose facility, hosts many of American's athletic competitions. Bender Arena opened on January 23, 1988, when AU's women's basketball team hosted James Madison University.[citation needed]

Reeves Field, home to AU's soccer team, earned the 2002 College Soccer Field of the Year by the Sports Turf Managers Association, hosted its fifth NCAA Tournament game, and served as the training site for the Uruguay national football team.[citation needed] Reeves Field features a six-lane track to accommodate the track and field programs at AU and functions as a multi-purpose event site.

Swimming pool located in the Reeves Aquatic Center

American University has seven tennis courts and two basketball courts in the outdoor recreational facility located next to Reeves Field and behind Bender Arena. AU has hosted Patriot League tennis team championships three times since joining the league.[citation needed] Both the men's and women's tennis teams have been cut from the athletics program.[96]

On March 14, 2008, AU earned its first NCAA tournament berth in men's basketball by defeating Colgate University in the Patriot League Championship Game. However, AU lost its first-round NCAA tournament game against the University of Tennessee. On March 13, 2009, AU's men's basketball team repeated as Patriot League Champion by defeating Holy Cross 73–57, earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. They ultimately lost to Villanova University in the first round on March 19, 2009, with a final score of 80–67.

William I Jacobs Recreational Complex is also located on campus, containing an AstroTurf surface, a softball diamond, and two sand volleyball courts.[97]

Off-campus facilities include the Massachusetts Ave. Field, which hosts intramural and varsity athletic practices for both the Men's and Women's soccer teams.[97]

The Marilyn Meltzer Wrestling Room is located within Jacobs Fitness Center, and hosts practices for the Men's Varsity Wrestling Team at American University.[98]

Notable people[edit]


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  5. ^ Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 52–160, H.R. 10304, 27 Stat. 476, enacted February 24, 1893
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  13. ^ Isikoff, Michael (January 11, 1987). "AMERICAN U. DONATION STIRS DEBATE". Washington Post. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
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  15. ^ Janofsky, Michael (October 25, 2005). "President of American University Agrees to Resign". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  16. ^ American University (2007). "President-Elect Cornelius M. Kerwin biography". Retrieved July 20, 2007.
  17. ^ Page B10, November 16, 2007
  18. ^ "American University Kogod School of Business to Offer Accelerated One-year Online MBA Program". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). Retrieved June 21, 2018.
  19. ^ "Online MBA - Earn your MBA from Anywhere". Retrieved June 21, 2018.
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  22. ^ "Announcing AU's 16th president". American University. Retrieved March 18, 2024.
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