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Mr. Deacon Goes to Washington

Wake Washington is Officially Open for Business

Story by Wake Forest University November 1st, 2017

The Forest & the Hill

Wake Forest just took its relationship with our nation’s capital to the next level. This fall, the Wake Washington Center opened its doors to the Demon Deacon and Washington, D.C. community, marking a bold new moment in a long-standing partnership between a city rich in opportunity and ambitious young minds ready to absorb everything it has to offer.


Location. Location. Location.

There’s no place like the center of things. With an address of 1 Dupont Circle, the Wake Washington Center is 4,300 square feet of beltway vibrancy positioned in the beating heart of the district. Its neighbors include think tanks, research institutions, museums, nonprofits and government agencies – many of which provide hands-on learning experience for Wake Washington students.

The National Center for Higher Education at 1 Dupont Circle, Wake Forest's new home in D.C.
Front doors to the Wake Washington Center
Inaugural Wake Washington students in class with Professor Katy Harriger
Students arriving for class at the Wake Washington Center
1 Dupont Circle
Wake Washington students hear from Shane Harris ('98), Senior Writer at the Wall Street Journal.
Alumni, students and administrators gather at the Wake Washington Center Open House.
“This program allows our foundational Wake Forest strengths – rigorous classroom learning and intense student-faculty engagement – to intersect with the opportunity to explore and shape public life.”
Katy Harriger, faculty director of Wake Washington


The inaugural set of classes includes “U.S. Policymaking in the 21st Century” and “American Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers and Federalism,” taught by Faculty Director Katy Harriger. This coursework incorporates visits to Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and the White House.

Professor Katy Harriger in class with Wake Washington students
Wake Washington students Bri Reddick ('19) and Natalie Alms ('20)
Wake Washington students Emily Beeland ('19), Jay Sherrill ('20) and Sanaa Jain ('19)
Wake Washington students Sanaa Jain ('19) and Annette Barile ('19)
“Whether students decide to focus their time on politics, international affairs, communications, nonprofit organizations or the arts, I know that any Demon Deacon who spends a semester here will be better for doing so.”

United States Senator Richard Burr (78)


From monuments to museums to restaurants to cherry blossoms, there is no shortage of things to see or do while in the capital of the free world. Much like our international houses and study abroad programs, Wake Washington offers participating students exposure to perspectives and experiences that extend far beyond the boundaries of classwork or internships.

The Capitol Building
The Russell Senate Office Building
The D.C. Metro
The Capitol Building
The Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art
The Deacon makes a point.
Chinatown's Friendship Archway
The Rotunda Elephant in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


For students with aspirations of one day working in Washington, there’s nothing quite like the experience gained within the fast-paced, highly competitive climate of a city that’s shaping global policy daily. The 16 undergraduates participating in the residential program all have an alumni or parent mentor and balance classwork with internships. They also enjoy access to other Washington businesses, agencies, organizations and thought leaders.

Kimberly Quick ('14) of the Century Foundation meets with student intern Bri Reddick ('19).
Wake Washington students gathered to hear from one of their Friday series speakers.
Wake Washington students wait for their trains at the Metro
Students enjoying the courtyard of the National Portrait Gallery
Students in their apartments in the Mt. Vernon Square neighborhood
“We came to Washington, D.C. because we know it is a place our students and alumni want to be. It is here – where there are so many intersecting forces at work, where important conversations are had and decisions are made, where people have the opportunity to be in the center of our nation’s activity, where there is room to make a difference – it is here we want to be. It is here Wake Foresters need to be. It is here we are pleased to be.”
President Nathan O. Hatch, Wake Forest University
President Nathan Hatch addresses the crowd at an event celebrating the opening of the Wake Washington Center.
The Washington Monument

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Footnote: Photos by Ken Bennett
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