Papal Visit to Washington, D.C. 2015

Campus Advisories
September 16, 2015

Pope Francis will be in Washington, D.C., from the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 22, to the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 24.

As our students will be on campus and attending classes, the George Washington University will be open with the exception of the 17th Street Corcoran Building which will be closed on Wednesday, Sept. 23, while the Pope is visiting the White House. The Corcoran Building will reopen on Thursday, Sept. 24. Corcoran students, staff and faculty with questions should contact Sam Inman at [email protected].

We understand traffic and public transportation will be affected and you may be inconvenienced.  We ask that you leave extra time for your commute to campus and monitor local media for road closures and other important information as the Pope moves around the city. If you have specific concerns about getting to campus, please discuss them with your supervisor.


For details regarding the Pope's visit to Washington, D.C., visit the Archdiocese of Washington's website (


GW students and employees are strongly encouraged to take Metro. As with other special events, road closures, parking restrictions and bus detours are expected throughout the Pope's visit to Washington, D.C.

The Foggy Bottom Campus will experience an increased number of visitors and vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Wednesday, Sept. 23, due to the Welcoming Ceremony at the White House and public viewing parade (non-ticketed event).

The Foggy Bottom/GWU Metro Station is anticipated to operate at its normally scheduled weekday opening and closing hours. For information regarding Metro (rail and bus), visit WMATA's website.

GW-operated garages will be open and operating as normal. 

GW shuttles (VEX and VSTC) will remain operational.


Many visitors attending events at the White House or on the National Mall will pass through the Foggy Bottom Campus. Students, faculty and staff should anticipate travel delays due to road closures and a high volume of people using public transportation. Avoid lines at stations by purchasing in advance and/or pre-load Metro SmarTrip cards.

Do not allow strangers into GW residential facilities. Restrooms in residential facilities are not public access areas. Close and lock doors behind you as you arrive and depart.

Carry your GWorld card with you at all times.

Report any unusual activity or objects out of place to the GW Police Department at 202-994-6111 or call 911.


In the event of a change to the university's operating status, information will be posted to Campus Advisories. Operating status changes also will be communicated via GW Alerts (text and email), the GW Information Line at 202-994-5050 and social media via Twitter and Facebook. 

The Virginia Science and Technology Campus will provide updates at 571-553-8333, and the School of Medicine and Health Sciences will provide updates at 202-994-3501.

If the university declares a change to its operating status, employees classified as Designated On-Site are required to report to and/or remain at work, employees classified as Essential are generally expected to telecommute and employees classified as Non-Essential are not required to work unless directed to do so by a supervisor.

To customize your GW Alert settings, visit GWeb Information System and select the GW Alert Emergency Notification tab. Register your cell phone numbers and email addresses in order to receive alerts on multiple devices. 

For preparedness tips and safety information, refer to the GW Emergency Response Handbook and the Designated and Essential Employee brochure.


US Secret Service: Law Enforcement and Public Safety Agencies Announce Security Restrictions and Joint Transportation Plan for the 2015 Papal Visit to Washington, D.C. September 22-24

DC Government: Papal Visit (includes Road Closures, Maps, Parking and Pedestrian Restrictions)

WTOP: FAQ: Pope Francis visits Washington

Washington Post: 2015 Papal Visit

WMATA: Preliminary Metro service information for Pope Francis' visit

Archdiocese of Washington

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops