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Last Updated June 22, 2006

Fun Facts About AU

Presidential Management Fellows
American University is the top school in the nation for graduate and law students selected into the federal government’s prestigious Presidential Management Fellows Program.

Key to the city
School of Public Affairs Dean William LeoGrande was presented with a key to the city of Miami Beach, FL by Mayor David Dermer (BA/SPA/'83). Florida has one of SPA's highest residence concentrations, following the DC area, New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

Top Wrestlers
Josh Glenn was AU's highest ranked wrestler in history - No. 1 at 184 pounds by the National Wrestling Coaching Association/Intermat (Feb 2006). AU's highest finisher at the NCAA Championships was Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov who placed third at the 2006 tournament at 165 pounds.

No Bones about it
The FOX drama, Bones is not only produced by an AU alum. It’s based on the stories (and to some extent the life) of a real-life AU alum, who is transformed for TV into a part-time AU professor who, even lectures to a class set in the Ward Circle Building. The Bones heroine is based on au alum Kathy Reichs.

Lengthy Accomplishment
AU's Katzen Arts Center is longer (667' 7") than Washington Monument is tall (555' 5.125"). Two Washington Monuments could fit side by-side inside the Katzen parking garage and still have room for two lecture halls.

Excellent Interiors
AU’s Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre and the architectural firm that designed it, Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott, were one of four 2003 D.C. chapter excellence award winners for interior architecture by the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Peace Corps
AU is ranked 12 among medium universities for porducing Peace Corps volunteers. Since Peace Corps' inception, 663 alumni of AU have joined the ranks of the Peace Corps, making the university the No. 53 producer of volunteers of all time.

Freshman Service Experience
Every fall for more than 15 years, hundreds of American University in-coming freshmen and returning-students contribute more than 10,000 hours of service to the Washington, D.C. community before classes begin. The program started in 1991 with only 30 students.

The View Came to AU
When TV hostess Star Jones wanted to throw a party, she thought of her alma mater and her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha - that’s how 15 members of AU’s 11 sororities found themselves on ABC’s The View.

Cooperative Education Program
80% of AU's students participate in some form of Cooperative Education Program. Students generally take several academic classes and work 16 hours a week, and can earn $4,300 or more while working.

Blink 182's #1 Fan
On Friday, Feb. 25th, 2000, AU freshman Jorge Santoscoy was surprised as MTV FANatic host Dave Holmes announced live on national television that he was chosen as Blink 182's number one fan. Jorge and fifty of his AU friends enjoyed a special Blink 182 concert performance in the Kreeger Building.

NPR Notables
Former NPR Morning Edition host Bob Edwards and reporter Nora Raum are AU graduates.

Congressional Praise
Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton lauded WAMU 88.5 FM American Univeristy Radio, and one of the station's signature shows, Metro Connection, on the House floor in December 1999. In her tribute, Norton said, "Metro Connection and its creators have brought honor to their medium and their hometown station. WAMU is a beacon of broadcasting excellence. I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the people who have made WAMU an award-winning resource for the residents of the Washington area."

Hoop Dreams
AU graduate and former Stanford University basketball coach and African philanthropist Kermit Washington, played for the LA Lakers (1970s), and is the subject of John Feinstein’s 2002 book “The Punch.”

Homeland Security
Frances Fragos-Townsend, a graduate of AU's School of Public Affairs, is assistant to the president and Homeland Security advisor.

Spirit of the Civil War
AU chancellor Charles McCabe taught "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" to Union POWs in the South early in the Civil War and was later invited to the Lincoln White House because of his actions.

School of International Service
Dwight D. Eisenhower broke ground for the School of International Service on June 5, 1957. Plans are now underway for a new and environmentally friendly SIS building.

Pulitzer Prize Winner
The 1986 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry was won by an AU faculty member, Henry Taylor.

Central Park Designer
Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park, was AU’s first architect.

Oliver Stone
The Oliver Stone film JFK depicts President Kennedy delivering the spring commencement address at AU on June 10, 1963.

Nonexistant Paleoclimatology Lab
The X-Files’ Agent Scully found she had an alien virus in AU’s Paleoclimatology Lab in the fall 1997 season premiere. AU has no Paleoclimatology Lab.

Green Leaders
Petra Kelly, the Founder of Germany’s Green Party, graduated from AU in 1970.

Bueller? Bueller?
Actor and Comedian Ben Stein (Win Ben Stein's Money, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) once taught at AU.

TV weathermen Willard Scott and Tony Perkins are both alums of American University.

Road Rules/Real World
AU’s School of Communication trained the cast and crew of MTV’s Road Rules and the Real World in public speaking.

Presidential Power
Nine U.S. presidents have either served on the AU Board of Trustees or spoken on campus.

The S.S. American Victory battleship was named after AU during World War II.

Wag the Dog
Director Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog, Sleepers) is a School of Communication alumnus and spoke at commencement Spring, 1999.

Best U.S. Student Speakers Program
AU’s Kennedy Political Union was named 1997 best U.S. student speakers program by the International Platform Association.

Beyond the traditional facts and figures, this page includes a few little know 'fun facts' about the American University community.


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