Welcoming the Class of 2019


The first day of fall classes at George Washington University is Monday, Aug. 31. Georgetown University starts up two days later.

Sandwiched between these two institutions of higher learning, our neighborhood is likely to be the first impression of residential Washington for about 4,000 incoming freshmen, roughly 2,400 at GW and 1,600 at GU.

The two universities being as highly regarded as they are, these 18-or-so-year-olds will come from every state in the union and dozens of countries, enriching our already international enclave.

They will be shopping in our stores, eating in our restaurants (to escape from and supplement their meal plans) and under no circumstances drinking in our bars.

They will be visiting our attractions — Tudor Place, Dumbarton House, Dumbarton Oaks, the Book Hill galleries, the flea market, the concerts in our churches — and exploring the historic beauty of our streets and waterfront on foot and by bike and boat.

Here is where you (and we) come in.

For a city south of the Mason-Dixon line, Washington is not thought of as a particularly welcoming community and — truth be told — Georgetown is no exception.

What say we muster up a warm welcome for the class of 2019?

A smile, an offer of directions, suggestions of what to see and do, or where to shop … these human touches can mean a lot. We can only hope that the residents of the towns where our kids went, are going, or will go to college don’t treat them like unwanted strangers.

After all, some of them will settle in Georgetown someday. And some of them — we’ve heard tell of cases — may never leave.

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