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Sylvia M. Burwell

AU's New President

President Burwell's Fall 2017 Welcome


AU's new president, Sylvia M. Burwell welcomes the AU community back to campus.

Welcome to American University!

In January 2017, I was honored to be named as the 15th President and become part of the AU community. I officially began this role on June 1.

I have received a warm welcome from all corners of campus, the national capital region, from across the country and world—which strongly emphasizes how this is an incredibly vibrant university with a distinctive mix of academic strengths, influential scholars, engaged students, successful alumni, and an extraordinary location.

AU’s trajectory over the last decade enables us to think in bold and ambitious ways. We are well positioned to promote learning, inform debate through scholarship and research, contribute to our community, and lead.

I invite you to review our website and become better acquainted with AU’s academic strengths, leadership team, campus news, creative initiatives, and tradition of service. We will continue to update the site over the coming months, and I hope that you will check back often.

I am excited to join the AU family, be part of the team, and help write the next chapter for this distinctive university. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at

Sylvia M. Burwell
President, American University

Standing Together Against Hate (9-27-17)

I was angered and saddened to learn that racist posters were posted in several locations on campus. We must stand together strongly against this act. I encourage anyone with information to contact Public Safety at 202-885-2527 or use their tip line. We will meet together as a community at Kay Spiritual Life Center at 1:00 PM today, September 27, to gather and discuss what happened. Join me in standing together and show that we will not be intimidated. When one of us is attacked, all of us are attacked.

Read the Memo

Update on DACA

I want to reiterate AU’s support for undocumented students in light of the U.S. Attorney General’s announcement to rescind, in six months, the executive order which established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012.

Read the Memo