In Memoriam: Albert H. Small | GW today


The George Washington University community remembers the life of Albert H. Small, a real estate developer and philanthropist with far-reaching impact that includes the establishment of the Albert H. Small Center for National Capital Area Studies and the Albert H. Small Normandy Institute. Mr. Small, 95, died on Sunday.

Mr. Small studied at GW Law from 1947 to 1948 and went on to become one of the university’s foremost champions. He received the GW President’s Medal in 2011, in recognition of his efforts to enhance cultural and educational opportunities, and an honorary doctorate in public service in 2016. Mr. Small was also honored during the Celebration Weekend. centuries of GW as one of the most distinguished of the university. Ancient Monuments.

Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations Donna Arbide said she has had the privilege of knowing Mr. Small over the past few years and described him as “a man of passion and passion. ‘immense conviction, remarkable philanthropist and leader in this community.’

“I have always been impressed not only by the clarity of his vision of the educational legacy he hoped to leave behind, but also by the way in which this legacy was already manifested during his life,” he said. she declared.

GW chairman Thomas LeBlanc acknowledged Mr. Small’s legacy at a board meeting on Monday.

“He was a wonderful, wonderful man, a great supporter of our university,” said Dr. LeBlanc. “We are deeply sorry for his death and would like to share our condolences with his family. “

Mr. Small is survived by his wife, Shirley, his children Albert Jr. “Sonny” and Tina Small, Susan and Gerald Savitsky, James and Anayansie Small, his grandchildren and extended family.

Mr. Small, a third generation Washingtonian, was an avid collector of rare books and manuscripts for over 65 years. In 2011, Mr. Small made a historic gift, donating his unrivaled collection on Washington, DC history to GW. The Albert H. Small Washingtoniana Collection, a collection of over 2,000 prints, maps, manuscripts, books, journals and photographs, is available to the DC community at its permanent residence at the George Washington University Museum and the Woodhull House of the Textile Museum. This collection and that of Maison Woodhull Albert H. Small Center for Studies of the National Capital Region, a research center launched in 2015, has been a vital resource for students and faculty at GW.

“Having worked with Mr. Small through the renovations of Woodhull House, the transfer of his collection to our museum, the Albert establishment. H. Small Center for National Capital Studies, Washington history exhibits since 2015, DC Monday educational programs, and our annual Albert H. Small Symposium. I can attest to Mr. Small’s passion for history and his even greater interest in continuing that enthusiasm for the future. generations, ”said museum director John Wetenhall. “I remember many visits to his office in Bethesda, guided, advised and escorted by Bob Perry, BS’70,—Where Albert Small inquired about the details of the exhibits and programs, always with words of enthusiasm and encouragement, as well as a joke or two. Through his collection, his center of study, and his commitment to learning and research, he has left us a magnificent legacy.

In 2019, GW became the headquarters of Albert H. Petit Normandy Institute. Mr. Small established the Normandy Institute in 2011 to honor WWII soldiers who died in the 1944 D-Day campaign. The institute sends teams of high school students and their teachers to Normandy, France, after participating at a series of lectures given by GW history teachers and conducted research on a fallen soldier in their respective hometowns. Mr. Small served as a second lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II and had a deep interest in the commemoration of the D-Day campaign, which he said had a profound impact on the world that we know today.

Mr. Small co-founded Southern Engineering Corporation in 1950 and has developed millions of square feet of office, apartment, and single-family home space in communities across the Washington DC metro area.

He has served on numerous civic and cultural councils, including those of the National Trust for the Humanities, the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Gallery of Art, the Foundation for the National Archives, and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. He was the recipient in 2009 of a National Medal for Human Sciences, presented by the National Endowment for the Humanities to individuals and groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities.

Mr. Small attended Woodrow Wilson High School in DC before graduating from the University of Virginia School of Engineering, where he earned a chemical engineering degree. He also attended the Kogod School of Business at American University.

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