Well, not exactly. But thanks to The Washington Center, Washington D.C. is definitely an important extension of our campus.
For those of you who are not familiar with it, The Washington Center is a non-profit that partners with colleges and universities around the nation to provide students with a study away option in D.C. Students participate in academic seminars or spend a semester doing substantive internships at places ranging from congressional offices, to lobbying firms, to administrative agencies, and many others. The Center has introduced many of our students to policymakers, political insiders, journalists, and academics, helping them better understand the complexities of politics and public policy. Students participate in site visits, tours, lectures and special events.
These are valuable learning opportunities that are open to international students as well as domestic. Student testimonials about their experiences through The Washington Center are glowing. They are excited about what they have done and what they have learned as a result.
I had the opportunity to speak with some of these students at the Center’s annual scholarship dinner in Washington D.C. last week. Not only did I attend, along with a table of alumni and students, but Suffolk was honored and highlighted in front of the crowd of over 500 as one of the Center’s longest and most committed educational partners. The gala remarks I made helped to highlight for the crowd what we already know – that Suffolk is an outstanding institution committed to student learning inside and outside of the classroom, a commitment that extends beyond Boston and Madrid to locations across the globe, and including Washington D.C. The fact that we are one of The Washington Center’s oldest partners (we have been sending students there for nearly four decades) demonstrates that commitment.
I am excited that our students have the opportunity to spend a semester in Washington as a result of this partnership, and I am appreciative of the work the Center staff does to ensure our students have a valuable experience during their time in D.C. But this partnership and its growth over time (we have 30 students there this fall) is only this strong because of the commitment of many members of the Suffolk community who have nurtured the relationship over many years. One person in particular, Professor Emeritus John Berg, had a huge role in developing this partnership and until his recent retirement, was a key driver of its success. Thank you John for your commitment to ensuring that our students could also have the opportunity to say, “Washington is our campus.” And thank you to all the other members of our community who foster the many partnerships that help to make Suffolk so great.
Marisa J. Kelly