Learning About Commitment, Respect and Determination on the National Mall
MLK, FDR and Thomas Jefferson Teach Life Lessons to GW Department of Athletics and Recreation
Sept. 26, 2012
GW student-athletes, head coaches and administrators ventured just blocks from campus to gain a better understanding of the commitment, respect and determination of some of our nation's greatest leaders who are memorialized on the National Mall.
Just over a year after a visit to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate to learn about the university's namesake, 450 current Colonials joined leadership from the Department of Athletics and Recreation, GW Colonial Army, Club Sports Council and Student Association for a tour of the Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorials at the second annual GW Student-Athlete Leadership Day on Sunday, Sept. 23.
Three groups mixed with athletes, coaches, students and administrators trolleyed around the National Mall to the three memorials, each with a distinct attribute unique to the leader - pillars now integral to life as Colonials who seek to Raise High the Buff and Blue.
At the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, visitors learned of the third President's commitment to his country as the author of the Declaration of Independence.
"Commitment is sticking by your teammates and making your team and yourself the best they can possibly be," said baseball senior Brian Derner.
At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, they learned of the Civil Rights leader's quest for respect amongst all mankind.
"Martin Luther King didn't only change the lives of African-Americans, but he changed the lives of everyone that lived in America," said women's basketball sophomore Bria Bourgeois. "He fought for equality amongst all people."
At the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, visitors learned of the determination of the longest-serving President in U.S. history despite battling disability throughout his three terms.
"You've got to be determined all the time," said men's rowing junior Trofym Anderson. "Even though once he got sick and he was in a wheelchair, FDR was still determined to be the President of the United States, to do his best and really pull through."
Additionally, in the grassy shadows of the Lincoln Memorial, the contingent was divided into 14 smaller groups for activities that stressed communication skills, teamwork and leadership - vital attributes that GW seeks to instill and cultivate as the Department of Athletics and Recreation strives for champions in competition, in the classroom and in the community.
The day culminated with a signing of the Colonials Constitution inside Constitution Hall.
The Constitution states: "We the Student-Athletes of the George Washington University, in order to form a more perfect team, establish commitment to our athletic and academic endeavors, resolve to demonstrate our determination in all that we do, and promise to respect ourselves and all members of the GW community as we proudly raise high the buff and blue. With our commitment, determination and respect, we do ordain and establish this Colonials Constitution on the twenty-third day of September, two thousand and twelve."