Athletics News

George Washington 101 With GW's 2013 Freshmen Student-Athletes

Aug 26, 2013

Deeds, not words. That was the motto of George Washington.

On a sun-drenched Sunday in our nation's capital and at the nearby home of our country's first President, freshmen student-athletes at his namesake university gathered to learn more about the man and his life as they prepare to don uniforms with his name across their chest.

George Washington University's incoming freshmen class will launch their academic careers on GW's first day of classes on Monday, but the student-athletes got a head start on their classmates in learning about G.W. when they visited his estate in nearby Mount Vernon, Virginia.

After breakfast at the Charles E. Smith Center, freshmen student-athletes were welcomed to the next chapter of their lives by Director of Athletics Patrick Nero. Senior women's soccer player and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Jane Wallis also hosted a roundtable discussion with fellow senior and women's swimmer Sloan Saunders, junior softball standout Victoria Valos and sophomore men's tennis star Danil Zelenkov. Saunders, Valos and Zelenkov each shared words of wisdom with the gathered freshmen, imparting knowledge and advice that they learned during their first year at GW to help ease the transition to college for this year's class.

Another education began after a short drive to the Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, where the name George Washington suddenly became much more than words on a uniform. Laying the foundation for the next four years, GW Athletics' freshmen were schooled in leadership, discipline and hard work by learning about the general who served in three of the most important positions in the world in his time - head of the Continental Army, head of the Constitutional Convention and first President of the United States.

Doing their best to embody George Washington's ideals, the student-athletes alternated between the estate's education center and fields for a combination of athletic and academic initiatives that will serve to foreshadow their careers at GW.

In a day designed to initiate new student-athletes into a department and family that they will live with, lead and learn from over the next four years and beyond, a greater sense of community was fostered. In building champions in competition, in the classroom and in the community, 214 years after his passing, George Washington's motto never rang more true.