Signature Events

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One-Time Service Events to Make an Impact

Our Signature Events are opportunities to engage in service with large numbers of peers for on a one-time basis.  Participate individually to meet new people, serve with your friends, or strengthen a group or team!

We realize the limits of what we can achieve in one day.  Our hope is that all event participants will understand challenges facing DC and will take advantage of our other ongoing service opportunities to make a deeper impact.

We also are always looking for leaders.  As events approach, be on the lookout for opportunities to apply to lead, or sign up for the trip. 

All Annual Signature Service Events


César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong Day 



The annual Chavez • Huerta • Itliong celebration and call to action brings community members together to honor the work, values, and dedication of change agents committed to making the world a better place for all. It is a day where we are encouraged to reflect on our collective responsibility to stand for equity and justice and heed the calls of activists before us to continue the struggle for progress. This year’s theme is Juntos - Magkasama, or Together. It highlights the coalition building and collaboration that is necessary for social movements to create an impact.


The Delano Manongs and the Legacy of the Filipino Farmworkers

Thursday, March 28th: Please register here, space is limited


The George Washington University Textile Museum (701 21st St NW)

Documentary screening and discussion with Marissa Aroy and Theodore Gonzalves

Part of the Norman Rockwell Four Freedoms Exhibit.


Chavez • Huerta • Itliong Day of Commitment and Call to Action

Friday, March 29th: Registration not required, but for our help, please sign-up here

If you would like to volunteer, please sign up here (time slots and roles are on the sign-up form)

Cloyd Heck Marvin Center (800 21st St NW) – 3rd Floor

9:30am – 4:30pm

Values Fair | Marvin 309

Workshops | Marvin 307 & 308

Peace Room | Marvin 311

Museum Room | Marvin  310

5 pm – 7 pm (Doors open at 4:30 pm)

Closing Ceremony | Continental Ballroom

Panel Discussion: Coalition building in the farm worker movement

Refreshments will be served



Contact us at [email protected] or 202-994-9900.

Convocation and Welcome Day of Service

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On Saturday, August 24,2019, The George Washington University will host the eleventh annual Convocation and Welcome Day of Service program officially welcoming the Class of 2023 into the GW community! President LeBlanc, Provost Maltzman, faculty, staff, and student leaders will join first-year students at the Smith Center and then throughout the District of Columbia in a day filled with engaging speakers, direct service projects, reflection, and fun.

Last year, over 2,400 students, faculty, and staff participated in the event focused on the theme Tomorrow, Together. Read more about last year's event on GW Today!

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a member of the Class of 2023, do I need to register or sign-up to participate in Convocation and Welcome Day of Service?

Nope! As a member of the newest class, you are already registered for the event. All you need to do is check-in on the day of the event and arrive at the Charles E. Smith Center before 11am.


Where do I check-in and when?

Your leader will send you information about when and where to check-in via email at the start of the school year. Please note that your check-in hub is based on your residence hall.

  • Thurston, Potomac, and Mitchell Hall residents will check in between 9:30am and 10:40am in their residence halls
  • All students living on the Mount Vernon Campus will check in between 9:00am and 10:40 am in the Eckles Auditorium
  • All other students will check in between 9:30am and 10:40am in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom

What should I bring to Convocation and Welcome Day of Service?

Enthusiasm! As well as wear close-toed shoes, clothes that can get dirty, and any medication that you need to take during the day or in case of an emergency (epipen, insulin, etc.). Your leader will also let you know about anything else you may need to bring to your specific service sites.


What are we given at Convocation and Welcome Day of Service?

Upon check-in-in, you will receive a nametag with all your information for the day, a reusable water bottle, a Class of 2023 t-shirt, and boxed lunch!


Current Student and Staff

Convocation and Welcome Day of Service are great opportunities to welcome the incoming class, build community, and promote citizen and leadership in service and academics.


Current Students: We invite you to serve as a logistics volunteer for the Class of 2023's Convocation and Day of Service! Logistics Volunteers play a critical role in the day helping first-year students to check in at their residence halls, distributing lunch boxes, and assisting with set-up and supplies.


Staff: We invite you to serve alongside the Class of 2023 and/or serve as a logistics volunteer. Logistics volunteers will serve from 9am-12pm and service will occur from 12pm-5pm.


Sign-up will open summer 2019.





Contact us at [email protected] or 202-994-9900.

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give a gift




Give-A-Gift is a signature event and tradition at the George Washington University where members of the GW community (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) provide holiday gifts to families in Washington, DC. Each individual sponsored receives a minimum of 3 holiday gifts-- a clothing item, an educational or household item, and a toy or "fun" gift. In total, we ask that donors spend a minimum of $75 per individual.

How it Works

Participating individuals and teams spend $75 on each individual of a family. You, your peers in a student organization, coworkers in your office, members of your sports team and more, are expected to give three gifts to each individual you sponsor:

  • One clothing gift
  • One fun or recreational gift
  • One housing gift (for adults) or educational gift (for children)

Families are identified by DC agencies and Community Partners, including Academy of Hope, Big Brothers Big Sisters, CentroNia, the Latin American Youth Center, the Transitional Housing Corporation, and S.T.A.R.S Mentoring Organization.


Traditionally, student organizations, teams, and offices have sponsored a family collectively. By sharing the costs equitably among members, it becomes much more affordable to spread extra holiday cheer to community partners in need.


Registration has closed for 2018. Registration for 2019 will open in October 2019.




Contact us at [email protected] or 202-994-9900.

MLK Day of Service and Leadership



As part of the GW celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are invited to participate in a day of service, leadership development, and interfaith dialogue.  MLK Day of Service and Leadership is sponsored by the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement & Public Service, with support from the Multicultural Services Center and the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement. Last year, over 500 students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members gathered for the opening program with keynote speakers and headed to service sites both on- and off-campus as well as leadership workshops.

Registration for MLK Day of Service and Leadership is now closed. To be added to our waiting list please email [email protected]

Schedule - Monday, January 21st, 2019

  • 10:00am-11am: Check-in - Marvin Center Grand Ballroom (800 21st Street NW)

  • 11:00 am: Opening Program & Keynote Speaker - Lisner Auditorium (730 21st St NW)

  • 11:45 am: Dismissals and Lunch (On-Campus: Marvin Center Grand Ballroom; Off-Campus: Kogan Plaza)

  • 12:30pm-3:00pm: Off-Campus Service

  • 12:30pm-1: 45 pm: On-Campus Block-One (Workshop OR Mobile Project)

  • 1:45pm-3: 00 pm: On-Campus Block-Two (Workshop OR Mobile Project)

  • 3:00 pmService Ends

Off-Campus Service Projects

  • Edward C. Mazique Parent Child Cneter: Organize and inventory storage rooms and adminstrative spaces. 
  • Excel Academy Public School: Paint murals with positive quotes and designs on bathroom stalls.
  • GAP Community Child Development Center: Paint, organize, and sanitize the lower lobby classroom.
  • Little Friends for Peace: Paint the art room and participate in community peace circles.
  • Malcolm X Elementary School: Organize and inventory storage rooms and teacher's lounge.
  • Morningside Volunteer Fire Department: Retile firehouse floor and install smoke detectors around the city. 
  • Payne Elementary School: Organize storage closets that hold student supplies, clothing, and PTSA supplies.
  • President Lincoln's Cottage: Paint classrooms and visit with residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. 
  • Rock Creek Park: Remove invasive species and trim bamboo.
  • Walker Jones Education Campus: Paint multiplication tables on the staircases and quotes in bathrooms. 

On-Campus: Workshops & Mobile Service Project 

Mobile Service Projects

  • DC Center for the LGBT Community: Participate in a packing party preparing safe sex kits to be distributed at LGBT spaces in DC. 
  • Free Minds Book Club: Provide feedback for poems and writing samples to DC youth you have been incacerated. Assosicate professor of writing Dr. Phyllis Ryder will speak.
  • Jumpstart at GW: Prepare literacy activities and games for pre-school children. Make puzzles, memory games, and number bingo cards
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS): Support families of the fallen with a variety of crafts and other projects. Marie Campbell from TAPS wll speak. 


All workshops will maintain a distinct focus on the values of Dr. King. These values include, but are not limited to, social justice, advocacy, community engagement and empowerment, non-violence, diversity, and cross-cultural communication:

  • Issues & Advocacy: Countering racism, classism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice. This track will feature workshops on active forms of civic work including but not limited to creative community building, online organizing and techniques, working with elected representatives, building coalitions, creative public relations, and communications.
  • Leadership & Civic Development: This track will feature workshops focused on individual skills and benefits. “How to” topics for enhancing personal leadership development and civic competencies.
  • Reflections on King: This track will address how Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy influences the work we engage in today or how we, as a community, can continue to strive to achieve the goals he laid out in his lifetime.


 Contact us at [email protected] or 202-994-9900.

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Veteran Day of Service

Veteran's Day of Service


On April 6, 2019, the Honey Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service and GW’s Office of Military and Veteran Student Services, will call upon GW students, faculty and staff and local community partners to participate in the annual Veterans Day of Service (VDOS).

The focus for this year’s annual signature event of service centers on serving those who serve through renovation, landscaping, and other projects geared towards improving the quality of life for the veteran community. We invite you to join us as we continue to create change through our community service efforts! You can sign up as an individual or as a group.



Contact us at [email protected]edu or 202-994-9900.

Learn more about GW Veterans here.

Check out the GW Today Story on Veterans Day of Service 2017.



A Year of Service

Shown to over 30,000 people at Commencement, this short video thanks Michelle Obama for issuing her challenge and shows how GW students volunteered 163,980 hours.