Bridging to the Future


Representatives from all parts of The Washington Center (TWC) community gathered at the National Building Museum for the Bridging to the Future scholarship dinner in October 2019. The annual event was made possible by board, partner, and university support. The evening's top sponsors included Ford Motor Company, Southwest Airlines, and CBS. Paula Reid, a CBS News White House correspondent, served as emcee, kicking the evening off with a reflection on how internships helped open the door to her dream career. Then, she introduced our distinguished award recipients.

Hon. Chuck Hagel


Secretary Hagel, a two-term U.S. senator and the only Vietnam Veteran to serve as U.S. Secretary of Defense, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Hagel was honored for his national leadership and his service as a member of TWC’s Council of Advisors.

Florida International University (FIU)


FIU received the Higher Education Impact Award, which recognizes an institution that provides its students with transformative personal and professional learning experiences. A TWC partner since 1993, FIU has sent more than 300 students to our internship and seminar programs.

Former TWC President Mike Smith


TWC President Christopher Norton, Board of Trustees Chair John Hilton, and TWC Co-founder Sheila Burke made a special presentation to former TWC President Mike Smith. The trio unveiled a portrait of Smith that hangs in the Michael B. Smith Residential and Academic Facility. The building was named for Smith upon his retirement four years ago.

TWC Alumni


Six TWC alumni who have worked in the office of the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives received the Alumni Impact Award. The recipients included Emily Berrett ’09 ’10, Earnestine Dawson ’06, Jaime Lizarraga ’85, Michael Long ’04, Michael Smith ’07, and Jemma York ’12. These alumni were honored for their exceptional achievements in inspiring others and effecting positive change.

In lieu of the 2020 Annual Scholarship Dinner, we invite our alumni, donors, and corporate and campus partners to safely join in our celebration from home.

Please visit our 45th anniversary website, where you can learn more about our Anniversary Fund.