American University Alumni Relations A newsletter for parents and families
The quad is our living room

message from DR. fanta aw
vice president, campus life and inclusive excellence

VP Fanta Aw

Fall is almost here, and it promises to be not only beautiful, but refreshingly different from last year, when we were online and campus was so empty. Now the quad -- which I think of as AU’s living room -- is buzzing with students and activities. It’s almost time for October break, when students can take a moment to catch their breath and redouble efforts as midterms ramp up and papers come due. Meanwhile, they’re juggling a complex mix of leadership commitments, friendships, and many questions about who they are and who they want to become. It’s exciting but also challenging. This is a time of year when we see stress levels go up, and the ability to find moments of joy, develop strong study habits, and seek balance with exercise, sleep, and good nutrition becomes critical. Families, we always need your support in reminding your students that asking for help is part of self-care and a crucial life skill. We have many resources to help, including the Academic Support and Access Center with its tutoring, writing center, and workshops; First-year advisors to help students start off strong; fitness and recreational facilities to help with focus and well-being; and many offices dedicated to student involvement and support. Thank you for all you do to help your students make the most of their time as Eagles! Wishing you a wonderful Fall.

Dates, deadlines, and reminders

We create common ground

The new FAFSA is open, students must fill out the FAFSA annually to be considered for need-based aid.

10/15 Fall Break (one day); no classes, university offices and residence halls remain open

10/31 Last day for students to apply for fall graduation

11/23 Tuesday classes cancelled; Friday classes meet instead

11/24 - 11/28 Thanksgiving holiday; no classes, university offices closed on Thursday and Friday

12/10 Fall classes end

12/11 - 12/12 Fall study days

12/13 - 12/18 Fall final exams. The final exam schedule is now posted. Please consult with your student before finalizing end of semester travel.

12/19 Residence halls close (graduating seniors may remain until 12/20)

12/19 Fall Commencement 

Event Calendar Make a Gift AU News

Family Week Highlights

Clawed and families on the Quad

Whether online or on campus, we were so glad to connect with you for Family Week this year! Thousands of you listened to Dr. Bernice King's inspirational remarks, cheered our Eagles to home game victories, posed compelling questions to our faculy experts and researchers, and explored the treasures of our campus and our Washington, DC community. Please share your favorite moments on social media with the #AUFamilyWeek hashtag.

You can find recordings of many of our online events on our YouTube page, including President Burwell's reflections on what we've learned and where we're heading in this moment of change. 

Save the date: Family Weekend 2022 is October 7 - 9


Did you know we have a website with curated content just for our AU parents and families? Find quick links to campus services and offices, find key dates and deadlines, explore area hotels, browse our webinar recordings and more!


AU's Game Center and DC Public Library Partner for Neighborhood Games and Outdoor Stories

Two years of funding begins this month for American University's Game Center and the DC Public Library (DCPL) to offer libraries tools, training, and templates to create neighborhood games. The $249,896 in funding comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Called "Engaging Beyond Our Walls," the project addresses three needs lacking in public libraries: basic training in game design for communities, templates of successful games result in community participation, including with ties to local history and public space, free authoring tools that are easy enough for non-technical users to create games.

AU Leads NSF-Funded National Research Network to Address the Challenge of Reducing Wasted Food

American University is leading a $15 million, five-year project funded by the US National Science Foundation to develop data and solutions for businesses, policymakers, and consumers. "This research exemplifies the impact that AU has on the world’s most pressing problems,” said President Sylvia M. Burwell. “Our expert scholars bring unique interdisciplinary approaches to critical challenges and create knowledge that translates into action. The NSF grant continues our leadership in sustainability and leads on the change we know can’t wait.”

Alumna’s Tech Startup Wins $100,000 in Google Funding

Yami Payano

Sign-Speak, a new startup co-founded by American University alumna Yamillet “Yami” Payano, won a prestigious Google for Startups Black Founders Fund award for $100,000. Payano was also just named one of the top youngest innovators in the "25 under 25" round-up by DC Inno. A first-generation college student, Payano emerged as a student leader and innovator early in her AU career.



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