The George Washington University (GW, GWU, or George Washington) is a private, coeducational comprehensive university. It is located in Washington, D.C. in the United States. The university was chartered by an Act of Congress on February 9, 1821, as The Columbian College in the District of Columbia. Baptist missionary and leading minister Luther Rice raised funds to purchase a site for a college to educate citizens in Washington, D.C. A large building was constructed on College Hill, which is now known as Meridian Hill, and on February 9, 1821, President James Monroe approved the congressional charter creating the non-denominational Columbian College in the District of Columbia. The first commencement in 1824 was considered an important event for the young city of Washington, D.C.. In attendance were President Monroe, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Marquis de Lafayette, and other dignitaries.
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