The George Washington University (GW, GWU, or George Washington) is a private, coeducational research university located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on February 9, 1821, as the Columbian College in the District of Columbia. In 1904, it changed its name to the George Washington University in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States. It is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia.
The university awards undergraduate and graduate degrees in several disciplines through all of its ten different schools. GWU's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Elliott School of International Affairs, Milken Institute School of Public Health, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of Nursing offer undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university also has specialized schools within colleges such as the School of Media and Public Affairs and the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.
GWU is consistently ranked by The Princeton Review in the top "Most Politically Active" Schools. Many of the university's graduates have gone on to high positions within both the United States Government and in foreign governments. Notable alumni include US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former First-Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, and former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. There are currently four George Washington University alumni serving in the United States Senate, nine serving in the United States House of Representatives, and ten serving as United States ambassadors.
The sports teams and current and former students in general are called "Colonials".