Hello Class of 2016! My name is Jeremy Gosbee. I’m a proud graduate of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business, and I have the honor of serving as president of YOUR George Washington Alumni Association.
Today I bring you greetings on behalf of GW’s 270,000 alumni, living in every state across the nation and more than 170 countries around the world.
Graduation is not the end of your relationship with GW—it’s only the beginning. You may not have realized it then, but on the day you accepted your offer of admission from the George Washington University, you joined a lifelong community. In fact, you joined more than a community—you joined a family. And just like your own family, you remain a member of the GW family for life.
Now I realize this may sound a little corny, but it’s real. We are a vast and richly diverse group of people, but you share a common bond with each and every one of us. Every time you see someone wearing a GW sweatshirt, or whenever you read about the accomplishments of a fellow alumnus, you’ll feel a sense of pride and nostalgia.
What does it mean to be part of a family? It means we help each other. Like every great family, our family has a motto: Colonials Helping Colonials.
This philosophy guides everything we do. Colonials Helping Colonials means we have a responsibility to help one another. We open doors for each other, and help each other face challenges in life.
As a GW student, you were often told you could change the world. But changing the world is hard work, and it’s even harder to do alone. From time to time, you’ll need a helping hand. Your Colonial family is there for you, to support you when you need them…
- To make a connection that helps you land a job or transition to a new career;
- To find a mentor to guide you, or a partner to help you get an idea off the ground;
- To find a sense of community in a new city or nation;
- To continue learning new things and express your passion;
- Or even just to cheer along with you as you watch your favorite basketball team win a national tournament.
Being part of a family also means having responsibilities. Your responsibility to your GW family is to stay involved.
In order to remain an excellent university, and to grow even stronger, GW needs your help. It needs you to give back. Now I’m not talking just about making donations—although many of you have already done that and I’d love each and every one of you to make a gift to GW every year. I’m talking about giving of your time and your talents to help your fellow alumni and the future GW students that will follow in your footsteps.
Just as previous generations of alumni have supported you, I urge you to do the same:
- Take the time to participate in a networking event, where you can advance your own career but also help students or other alumni get a start on theirs;
- Provide advice to a fellow alumnus interested in your professional field, or mentor a student looking for some guidance;
- Stay in touch with your professors, and consider coming back to lecture in a class or speak on a panel;
- Make a gift to support a student organization you were involved in, or to help provide scholarships for students in need.
Remember our family motto: Colonials Helping Colonials.
There are countless ways you can stay connected to GW. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter or Instagram. Join our group of 33,000 GW alumni on LinkedIn. Or visit our website at alumni.gwu.edu to discover benefits for GW alumni and learn about alumni events in your area.
As graduates, you have become lifetime members of the GW Alumni Association. And like any family, that membership is free—there are no dues or fees to belong.
So on behalf of your new GW alumni family—now 275,000 strong—congratulations on your accomplishments, and welcome to the family!
—Jeremy Gosbee, CCAS BA ’98, GWSB MBA ’02
President, GW Alumni Association (GWAA)