Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the opening of the new Milken Institute School of Public Health building at The George Washington University. As some of you may know, I completed my undergrad degree in Exercise Science and my graduate degree in Public Health at GWU, so I have been a GWU School of Public Health student since 2008! During my undergrad years, the Exercise Science department was housed in a dinky little old building called ‘Building K.’ (I just tried to look for a picture of it on the interwebs, aka Google, and apparently someone had a vendetta against Building K and removed all pictures of it from the internet after it was demolished….suspicious….). All of the Public Health students were housed in GW’s Med School building, Ross Hall.
Finally, finally, finally, the Exercise Science Students (who are part of the School of Public Health) and the Public Health students are housed together in a brand new beautiful building on Washington Circle. The building is about 93% done–good enough for us to take a tour and cut the ribbon!
I was really excited to go back as an alumni to see all of my professors–I had a really hard time adjusting to GW when I was a freshmen, and it was in the Exercise Science department that I finally felt at home and like I belonged (probably because all the students were wearing sweatpants, like me). After popping by a few professors’ offices, my friend and I hit up the refreshment room. The School of Public Health went all out with their refreshments. We had just eaten lunch for a friend’s birthday, though, so we stopped by the Spritzer Bar (I feel really fancy typing that) and got a delicious Strawberry Lemon Thyme drink to walk around with. Apparently I liked the Strawberry Lemon Thyme so much that I couldn’t take a straight picture.
To encourage visitors to explore the entire building, the faculty and staff created a ‘Passport.’ Each floor had an activity for which you could earn a stamp. Activities included: listening to an MPH in Environmental Health candidate explain the different features of the building that make it environmentally friendly and an MS in Strength Conditioning candidate give a tour of the Exercise Physiology labs. If you got all your stamps, you got a prize on the 7th floor (a smoothie).
One of the best parts about this building is that some of the faculty and staff actually helped design it, which means that they used their passion for health to create a building that caters to a healthy lifestyle…and a healthy environment! When you walk into the building, the first thing you see is the stairs, which criss-cross throughout the large open space in the middle of the 7 floors. We thought they looked very much like Hogwarts stairs, which of course made us love them more.
(I just looked at this .gif for more than 10 seconds and got really nauseous.)
My friend and I got all our stamps and finished off on the 7th floor with a yummy smoothie and a beautiful view of Washington Circle.
And then we went to watch the ribbon cutting! I actually had to leave right before they whipped the scissors at, but I got to stare at the ribbons for a while.
I am super jealous of this new building and I am thinking of either:
1) Auditing a class in the building this summer or in the fall or
2) Convincing my professors to hire me for some random job.