American University creates meaningful change in the world. With highly ranked schools and colleges and internationally recognized faculty, AU offers a balance between class time and career-advancing experience in Washington, D.C., and beyond. Its students, among the country’s most politically active, distinguish themselves for their service, leadership, and ability to rethink global and domestic challenges and opportunities.
A global outlook, practical idealism, a passion for public service: They’re part of American University today, and they were in the air in 1893, when AU was chartered by Congress.
George Washington had dreamed of a “national university” in the nation’s capital. But it took John Fletcher Hurst to found a university that, in many ways, embodies that dream.
Today’s students would find a kindred spirit in Hurst, who studied abroad in the 1850s and later ventured through the Middle East and South Asia, even writing a cultural history of Sri Lanka. By the time ground was broken in 1896, he was the respected Methodist bishop of Washington, D.C., with a vision of a university that would train public servants for the future.