LeBlanc Marks First Day as GW President

The coming weeks will include meetings and events with members of the university community as Tom LeBlanc and his wife, Anne, settle into their new home on campus.

Rice Hall, Dr. Thomas LeBlanc’s first day

As Tom LeBlanc began his tenure Tuesday as the 17th president of the George Washington University, more than 100 GW community members gathered to greet him, with students meeting him outside his F Street House on the Foggy Bottom Campus and leading him toward a cheering crowd waiting outside of Rice Hall.

LeBlanc told the group the experience of being on a new campus had him feeling like a freshman: He knows how to get to home and to work, he said. He asked the community to say “hi” if they see him around campus—particularly if he looks lost, he joked.

In a message to the university community, LeBlanc said Tuesday that GW is a “special place—a world-class university with the power to transform the lives of so many.” He added that he and his wife, Anne, have been grateful for the warm welcome from GW, and they look forward to meeting many more members of the community soon.

“Anne and I are thankful to be part of this vibrant community and tremendously excited for the opportunities ahead,” he wrote. The LeBlancs will live in the F Street House, which serves as the president’s residence and a gathering space for various university events.

In the coming weeks, LeBlanc will criss-cross GW’s campuses for meetings and events. Employees will have the opportunity to meet him at this month’s Proud to Be GW festivals, which will feature free food, music and games on the Foggy Bottom Campus on Aug. 10 and Virginia Science and Technology Campus on Aug. 22. On Aug. 26, LeBlanc will welcome students and their families on Move-In Day.

An accomplished academic leader, LeBlanc most recently was executive vice president, provost and professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Miami. He was both the chief academic officer and the chief budget officer, responsible for the university’s 11 schools and colleges, the library system, the division of student affairs, the division of continuing and international education and undergraduate education, admissions and financial aid.

LeBlanc’s appointment, announced in January, concluded a months-long process led by the Presidential Search Committee, which unanimously recommended his hire. The search committee worked in consultation with the elected Faculty Consultative Committee, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and with input from university and local community members in more than 30 town halls.

LeBlanc succeeds Steven Knapp, who completed 10 years as GW president before stepping down on Monday.

In remarks following the announcement of his selection, LeBlanc said his life has been defined by education, and particularly by higher education, where he has spent his entire professional career. LeBlanc said that he believes higher education is a force for social mobility and that he looks forward to continuing to enhance GW’s strengths.

Serving as president of the largest university in the District, “at this moment in time, in this great city,” is an honor—as well as a challenge and “incredibly exciting adventure,” LeBlanc said then.

And on Tuesday, LeBlanc ended his impromptu remarks outside Rice Hall saying, “If we’re not having fun, we’re doing something wrong.”

Shared from GWToday.

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3 Comments

  1. Mark J. Lewis said:

    Congratulations, President LaBlanc! Please make your 1st task to clean-up the GWSB specifically the F. David Fowler Career Center. This department has a revolving door of employees, career consultants who represent other universities and one employee who uses the department to recruit employers for his own recruitment firm on university time. Career Fairs are mostly Government Agencies, obscure consulting agencies and MACY’S. Just where I want to work after spending 100k for my MBA – a department store. The conflict of interest within this department is threatening the very mission of this center – “building strategic partnerships among students, alumni, and employers that result in successful, fulfilling careers for our students.” NOT STUDENTS AT GT OR TO FIND YOUR CLIENT A JOB AT THE EXPENSE OF GWU STUDENTS AND OUR EMPLOYER RELATIONSHIPS. If you can have your staff look at this I think you’ll find this center is dysfunctional and has left a few recents graduates disgruntled and without jobs at graduation. Thank you for hearing us and each of us wish you all the success.

    • Matt Lindsay said:

      Mark, glad we were able to connect regarding your comment and next steps in terms of sharing this information. I was also pleased to hear that you have landed a good position.
      We of course want students to have the best possible experiences and outcomes with career services. And we appreciate the alumni volunteers and donors play a critical role in helping build the Colonial career network, by hiring GW students/alumni, joining an Alumni Industry Networks, or becoming a member of the GW Alumni LinkedIn group (https://alumni.gwu.edu/career-resources).
      Matt Lindsay

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