Foggy Bottom in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Marquis de Lafayette Hall
In 1777 the 20-year old Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, purchased a ship and sailed with a party of soldier-adventurers from France to America to join Washington's army. So impressive was the young marquis that he was made major general (without pay) by the Continental Congress and joined George Washington's staff. He was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine, served at Valley Forge, and played a vital role in the Yorktown Campaign. He returned home as a hero and at the age of 24 was raised by King Louis XVI to the rank of marechal-de-camp (brigadier general) in the French Army. A hero in both countries, he was influential in France and America, continuing to work diligently and diplomatically on behalf of American interests.
In 1784 Lafayette revisited America and stayed with Washington at Mount Vernon. On his farewell visit in 1824 he was magnificently entertained as a guest of the City of Washington. During this festive triumphal tour of the United States (1824-25), Lafayette and his Suite attended the first Commencement exercises of Columbian College, which later became The George Washington University. Held precisely
All in all the First Commencement Day of our very young Columbian College was truly splendid-exceeding all expectations. Indeed it was one that would have done honor to any of the older universities in the nation. The press was enthusiastic in its reports of the Commencement. The weather was unusually fine. "Every part of the performance evinced talents and mental cultivation of a high order." The house was crowded with an "intelligent and fashionable auditory." Music was furnished by the United States Marine Band. Lafayette expressed his thanks for the honor done him, the pleasure with which he had witnessed the Commencement, and his wishes for the prosperity of the College. Each student was then introduced. The General shook hands with each one and
Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, President
John D. Zeglis, Chairman, Board of Trustees
Charles T. Manatt, Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees
Sheldon S. Cohen, Vice Chairman, Board of Trustees
Lilien F. Robinson, Chair, Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Kuyomars "Q" Golparvar, President, Student Association
Location. 38° 54.035′ N, 77° 2.812′ W. Marker is in Foggy Bottom, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is on I Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. On the Campus of George Washington University. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 I Street, Northwest, Washington DC 20037, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ingrid Bergman (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); GW's River Horse (about 400 feet away); Home of James Monroe (about 400 feet away); George Gamow (about 500 feet away); Pembroke College, Oxford, Coat of Arms (about 500 feet away); George Washington Edward Teller (about 600 feet away); Announcement of the Atomic Age (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Foggy Bottom.
Categories. • Education • Notable Buildings • Notable Persons • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2017. This page originally submitted on June 13, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 200 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 13, 2016, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.