You are here: American University Media Relations News 12 for ‘24: A Dozen Things to Look Forward to This Year at AU

On Campus

12 for ‘24: A Dozen Things to Look Forward to This Year at AU

12 things to look forward to at AU in 2024

By  | 

AU in 2024

The new year brings with it special events, anniversaries, and opportunities to build community and share knowledge at American University. Mark your calendar for 12 things to look forward to at AU and keep an eye out for more events and happenings throughout the year in newsletters, social media, and news announcements.

Achieving Zero Waste

From Jan. 28 through March 23, the campus community will participate in the annual Campus Race to Zero Waste national competition, where AU will compete with colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada to benchmark waste minimization and recycling efforts against other schools. Through weight tracking, programming, and social media, AU aims to shift norms around plastics consumption, promote education around composting and minimizing food waste, and reduce rates of waste bin contamination.


Images of 2024 Sine Fellows


Welcoming Sine’s Spring Fellows and Distinguished Lecturers

On Feb. 1, Amy K. Dacey, executive director of the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics, will introduce the 2024 spring cohort of fellows and distinguished lecturers during a special event on AU’s campus. Later this spring, Distinguished Lecturers NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and CNN Chief National Security Analyst Jim Sciutto will come to campus to discuss space exploration, women in STEM, national security and journalism. For updates and event information see Sine’s website or sign up for the institute’s newsletter.


“The African Century” Explored in Model UN Conference

Celebrating 75 years, the student-led American University International Relations Society boasts more than 300 student members and manages AU’s No. 1 ranked Model UN Team. As it defends its ranking, the team will host the 11th annual AU Model UN Conference Feb. 2 through Feb. 4. This year’s conference is titled “The African Century.” 

Love and Basketball

On Feb. 3, the Black Alumni Alliance will host its annual Love and Basketball event that supports its mission to create a lifelong and worldwide community of AU alumni with a focus on Black and African Diaspora communities. Alumni and guests will connect as they watch from the Bender Arena Skybox the AU men’s basketball team take on Patriot League rival Bucknell University.

SPA 90th Anniversary Logo


90 Years Young: School of Public Affairs Celebrates Anniversary

On March 3, AU’s School of Public Affairs will turn 90! Founded in 1934 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to train federal employees to solve problems in public affairs and implement the New Deal, SPA was inaugurated with a visit to campus by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Today, SPA scholars create public policy solutions to address pressing problems, and expanded programs provide training for public service. SPA students and alumni are involved in the nation’s most vital policy debates. Learn more about 9 moments that shaped 9 decades of SPA


Climate Action with the Center for Environment, Community & Equity

School of International Service Professor and AU’s Center for Environment, Community & Equity Director Dana R. Fisher leads a discussion on Jan. 17 about her new book, Saving Ourselves: from Climate Shocks to Climate Action. On Feb. 29, the center will host the opening presidential plenary session of the Eastern Sociological Society’s Annual Meeting on the Social Side of the Climate Crisis. Capping off the spring semester is a Symposium on Climate in Our Nation’s Service on April 18.  

Farm Bill Summit (Photo credit: Austin Price)


Partnering in Farm Bill Equity

The U.S. Farm Bill, which determines policy and funding for farming, food assistance, and many conservation programs, is expected to take center stage in the U.S. Congress this spring. Following an AU summit, AU’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center and its partner Federation of Southern Cooperatives will release a toolkit for policy advocates. The toolkit will be connected to interviews and recordings produced in partnership with SOC’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and Community Voice Lab and informed by AU experts from the RECIPES network that researches solutions to the problem of wasted food in America.  

Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett


Washington College of Law Anniversary Celebration

Washington College of Law will celebrate the 125th Anniversary of its First Graduating Class and the pioneering role of women in legal education. More than 120 years ago, American lawyers, educators, and pioneers for women’s rights to legal education, Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett, did something that at the time, was considered radical—they founded a law school. In February 1896, the date recognized as the school’s founding, Mussey and Gillett held the first session of the Woman’s Law Class.

Tom Zetterstrom, Exterior shot of The New Thing, 1968. Photograph, 14 x 18 inches. Courtesy of Tom Zetterstrom and Jackson Reed High School.


Museum Showcases 1960s Adams Morgan Center for Black Architects

Included in seven new exhibits opening Feb. 7 at American University Museum is a photographic history of the New Thing Art and Architecture Center, revolutionary community space of 1960s Washington originally founded to cultivate opportunities for Black architects. Some photos have never before been exhibited and include those of artists Stevie Wonder, The Soul Searchers and Mance Lipscomb. Bob Schieffer, long-time CBS television journalist and presidential campaign moderator, trades in his microphone for a paintbrush in an exhibit of paintings on his observations of the COVID-19 pandemic. Plan a visit to catch these and five other eclectic exhibits this spring.

School of Education Summer Institute on Education, Equity and Justice

As violence in America’s schools is a major concern, “Ending Violence in PreK – 16 Schools” is the theme of this year’s June Summer Institute on Education, Equity and Justice, hosted by AU’s School of Education. The institute will bring together educators and experts to explore ways to create safer schools. Check back for updates as the SOE team builds out the program.

Intensive Training for Up-and-Coming Journalists

AU’s School of Communication will host a group of college students from across the nation for a nine-day program, thanks to a new partnership with Dow Jones News Fund. The fund partners with select colleges and universities to train students who will soon embark on internships in newsrooms. AU's program will focus on business reporting, led by former Bloomberg Industry Group Executive Editor and SOC Adjunct Associate Prof. Paul Albergo.

Inclusive Tech Policy Changemaker Award

Each fall an Inclusive Technology Policy Changemaker Award is bestowed upon a leader who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing inclusivity. Nominations for 2024 are expected to open May 1. Earlier this year, AU launched the Shahal M. Khan Cyber and Economic Security Institute (Khan Institute), inspired by a $5 million gift from Shahal M. Khan, SIS/BA ’95, and a partnership with Cyber Range Solutions.