American University given Airlie Center in Warrenton
American University in Washington, D.C., has received an unusual gift, the historic Airlie hotel and conference center in Warrenton.
The university announced on Thursday the gift by the Airlie board of directors. The center includes the historic Airlie House, a village of guest rooms and meeting facilities set on more than 300 acres of countryside.
For more than half a century, the Airlie Center has welcomed global leaders, heads of state, and diplomats who have met at the Virginia estate, an hour from Washington D.C, for conferences and programs dedicated to social progress, education, environmental research and public health.
Airlie, originally a farm, was one of the first conference facilities of its kind in the country. From its inception, it has focused on advancing social change and environmental leadership.
Airlie was the venue for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s first annual conference in 1962; the place where, in 1969, Sen. Gaylord Nelson made public his concept of Earth Day; as well as the site of significant gatherings aimed at peace in both Northern Ireland and the former Republic of Yugoslavia.
“The university is honored to have been selected for this wonderful gift. It is our intent to carry on the very impressive and important legacy of Airlie, while leveraging this marvelous facility for American University’s academic initiatives,” Neil Kerwin, the university’s president, said in a statement.