Encompass means to contain. When you see the word, picture a campus which encompasses lecture halls, a football field, a medical center, a dining hall and some parking lots.
Encompass can be used when talking about anything that contains something else. A lecture on Edward Hopper might encompass all aspects of his life and art, a work of art could encompass many techniques, and a policeman's jurisdiction may encompass an entire state. The continental U.S. encompasses 48 states. This entry encompasses many examples of the word encompass in use!