Georgetown University

Georgetown University
Georgetown University
A vertical oval-shaped black and white design with a bald eagle whose wings are spread and who is grasping a globe and a cross with its claws. Around the seal are leaves and the numbers 17 and 89 on either side.
Motto Utraque Unum
Motto in English Both into One[a]
Established January 23, 1789[1]
Type Private
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic (Jesuits)
Endowment $1.01 billion[2]
Chairman Paul Tagliabue
President John J. DeGioia
Vice-president Spiros Dimolitsas
Provost James J. O'Donnell
Academic staff 2,054[3]
Admin. staff 1,500[4]
Students 16,437
Undergraduates 7,433
Postgraduates 5,455
Other students 3,549 (continuing studies)[3]
Location Washington, D.C., 20057, United States
38°54′26″N 77°4′22″W / 38.90722°N 77.07278°W / 38.90722; -77.07278Coordinates: 38°54′26″N 77°4′22″W / 38.90722°N 77.07278°W / 38.90722; -77.07278
Campus Urban, 104 acres (0.4 km2)[5]
College yell Hoya Saxa

Blue and Gray

Sports Big East; Patriot League (football); EARC; MAISA
Nickname Hoyas
Mascot Jack the Bulldog
Affiliations Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Stylized blue text with the words Georgetown University.

Georgetown University is a private, Jesuit, research university whose main campus is in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Founded in 1789, it is the oldest Catholic university in the United States. Georgetown administers 180 academic programs in four undergraduate and three graduate and professional schools, and the programs in international affairs and law are particularly selective and well regarded. In addition to its main campus, renowned for the neo-Romanesque Healy Hall, Georgetown operates a law center on Capitol Hill, as well as auxiliary campuses in Italy, Turkey, and Qatar.

Georgetown's founding by John Carroll realized efforts dating from 1634 to establish a Roman Catholic college in the province of Maryland. Georgetown expanded into a branched university after the American Civil War during the presidency of Patrick Francis Healy, who was born a slave by law. Georgetown celebrates its religious heritage, which includes Jesuit involvement since 1805, but the university has always been governed independently of church authorities and of the Society of Jesus.

The university has around 7,000 undergraduate and over 8,000 post-graduate students from a wide variety of religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds. Georgetown's main campus is home to dozens of student groups, including the oldest student theater group and the largest student-run business in the United States. Georgetown's most notable alumni have served in leadership positions in government in the United States and abroad; among them are former U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and the heads of state or government of more than a dozen countries. Georgetown's athletic teams are called the Hoyas. The men's basketball team has won a record-tying seven Big East championships, has played in five Final Fours, and won a national championship in 1984.




John Carroll published his proposals for a school at Georgetown in 1787, after the American Revolution allowed for the free practice of religion.

Jesuit settlers from England founded the Province of Maryland in 1634.[6] However, the 1646 defeat of the Royalists in the English Civil War led to stringent laws against Roman Catholic education and the extradition of known Jesuits from the colony, including Andrew White, and the destruction of their school at Calverton Manor.[1] During most of the remainder of Maryland's colonial period, Jesuits conducted Catholic schools clandestinely. It was not until after the end of the American Revolution that plans to establish a permanent Catholic institution for education in the United States were realized.[7]

Because of Benjamin Franklin's recommendation, Pope Pius VI appointed former Jesuit John Carroll as the first head of the Roman Catholic Church in America, even though the papal suppression of the Jesuit order was still in effect. Carroll began meetings of local clergy in 1783 near Annapolis, Maryland, where they orchestrated the development of a new university. On January 23, 1789, Carroll finalized the purchase of the property on which Dahlgren Quadrangle was later built.[8] Future Congressman William Gaston was enrolled as the school's first student on November 22, 1791, and instruction began on January 2, 1792.[9]

In its early years, Georgetown College suffered from considerable financial strain, relying on private sources of funding and the limited profits from local lands owned by ex-Jesuits.[10] The Maryland Society of Jesus began its restoration in 1805, and Jesuit affiliation, in the form of teachers and administrators, bolstered confidence in the college.[11] The United States Congress issued Georgetown the first federal university charter in 1815, which allowed it to confer degrees, and the first Bachelor degrees were awarded two years later.[12] In 1844, the school received a corporate charter, under the name "The President and Directors of Georgetown College", affording the growing school additional legal rights. In response to the demand for a local option for Roman Catholic students, the Medical School was founded in 1851.[13]

Civil War

Black-and-white photo of several military men idling on a river bank. Across the river are several large buildings.
Union soldiers across the Potomac River from Georgetown University

The U.S. Civil War greatly affected Georgetown as 1,141 students and alumni enlisted and the Union Army commandeered university buildings.[7] By the time of President Abraham Lincoln's May 1861 visit to campus, 1,400 troops were stationed in temporary quarters there. Due to the number of lives lost, enrollment levels remained low until well after the war was over. Only seven students graduated in 1869, down from over 300 in the previous decade.[14] At its founding in 1876, the Georgetown College Boat Club, the school's rowing team, adopted blue, used for Union uniforms, and gray, used for Confederate uniforms, as its colors to signify the peaceful unity among students.[15] Subsequently, the school adopted these as its official colors.

Enrollment did not recover from the war until the presidency of Patrick Francis Healy from 1873 to 1881. Born a slave by law, Healy was the first acknowledged head of a predominantly white American university with African heritage.[b] He is credited with reforming the undergraduate curriculum, lengthening the medical and law programs, and creating the Alumni Association. One of his largest undertakings was the construction of a major new building, subsequently named Healy Hall in his honor. For his work, Healy is known as the school's "second founder."[16]


After the founding of the Law Department in 1870, Healy and his successors hoped to bind the professional schools into a university, and focus on higher education.[11] The School of Medicine added a dental school in 1901 and the undergraduate School of Nursing in 1903.[17] Georgetown Preparatory School relocated from campus in 1919 and fully separated from the University in 1927.[18] The School of Foreign Service (SFS) was founded in 1919 by Edmund A. Walsh, to prepare students for leadership in foreign commerce and diplomacy.[11] The School of Business was created out of the SFS in 1957, and in 1998 was renamed the McDonough School of Business in honor of alumnus Robert E. McDonough.[19]

Besides expansion of the University, Georgetown also aimed to expand their resources and their student body. The School of Nursing has admitted female students since its founding, and most of the university was made available on a limited basis by 1952.[20] With the College of Arts and Sciences welcoming its first female students in the 1969–1970 academic year, Georgetown became fully coeducational.[21] Georgetown ended its bicentennial year of 1989 by electing Leo J. O'Donovan as president. He subsequently launched the Third Century Campaign to build the school's endowment.[22] In December 2003, Georgetown completed the campaign after raising over $1 billion for financial aid, academic chair endowment, and new capital projects.[23] John J. DeGioia, Georgetown's first lay president, has led the school since 2001, and has continued its financial modernization and sought to "expand opportunities for intercultural and interreligious dialogue", such as by opening a campus in Qatar.[24]

Jesuit tradition

Three young adults lie on grass reading books in front of a brick building with many windows.
Students studying outside Wolfington Hall Jesuit Residence

Georgetown University was founded by former Jesuits in the tradition of Ignatius of Loyola and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.[8][25] Georgetown is not a pontifical university, though three Jesuits serve on the forty member Board of Directors, the school's highest governance.[26] Fifty-nine members of the Society of Jesus live on campus, and are mostly employed by Georgetown as professors or administrators.[27] Jesuit Heritage Week has been held every year since 2001 to celebrate the contributions of Jesuits to the Georgetown tradition.[28]

The role that Georgetown's Catholic heritage has played in its policies has been controversial at times, even as its influence is relatively limited.[29] Stores in University-owned buildings are not allowed to sell or distribute birth control products.[30] Georgetown University Medical Center and Georgetown University Hospital, operated by MedStar Health, are prohibited from performing abortions on the premises.[31] The hospital does, however, perform research using embryonic stem cells.[32] Georgetown has drawn criticism from religious groups, including the Cardinal Newman Society, for hosting prominent pro-choice politicians as speakers, such as John Kerry and Barack Obama.[33][34]

Between 1996 and 1999, crucifixes were added to many classroom walls, attracting national attention.[35] Before 1996, crucifixes had hung only in hospital rooms and historic classrooms.[36] Some of these crucifixes are historic works of art, and are noted as such.[37] Pressure to remove the crucifixes comes, however, from within the Catholic community, while campus leaders of other faiths have defended their placement.[38] The Intercultural Center is an exception to this controversy, rotating displays of various faith and culture symbols in the lobby.[39]


A large Gothic style stone building dominated by a tall clocktower with a pinkish sunset behind it.
Healy Hall houses classrooms and the university's executive body.

As of 2009, the University has 7,433 undergraduate students, 5,455 graduate students on the main campus, 2,083 students at the Law Center, 813 students in the School of Medicine, and 145 at the School of Foreign Service in Qatar.[3][40] Bachelor's programs are offered through Georgetown College, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business, the School of Continuing Studies, and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, which includes the Qatar campus. Some high school students from Georgetown Visitation are permitted to attend classes for Advanced Placement credit.[41]

Georgetown University offers undergraduate degrees in forty-eight majors in the four undergraduate schools, as well as the opportunity for students to design their own individualized courses of study.[42] All majors in the College are open as minors to students in the College, the School of Nursing and Health Studies, and the School of Business. Students in the School of Foreign Service cannot receive minors, but can complete certificates instead. All courses are on a credit hour system.[11] Georgetown offers many opportunities to study abroad, and 58.7% of the undergraduate student body spends time at an institution overseas.[43]

Master's and doctoral programs are offered through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Law Center, the School of Medicine, and the School of Continuing Studies. The McDonough School of Business and the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service both offer masters programs. The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the Public Policy Institute are both research centers which also offer masters degrees. Masters students occasionally share some advanced seminars with undergraduates, and most undergraduate schools offer abbreviated bachelors and masters programs following completion of the undergraduate degree.

Each graduate school offers at least one double degree with another graduate school.[44] Additionally, the Law Center offers a joint degree with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.[45] The School of Continuing Studies includes the Center for Continuing and Professional Education, and operates four types of degree programs, over thirty professional certificates and non-degree courses, undergraduate and graduate degrees in Liberal Studies, as well as summer courses for graduates, undergraduates, and high school students.[46]

Current Schools of Georgetown University
Undergraduate Georgetown College
School of Nursing and Health Studies
Walsh School of Foreign Service
School of Foreign Service in Qatar
School of Continuing Studies
McDonough School of Business
Graduate Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
School of Medicine
Law Center
Arab Studies Center
Public Policy Institute


A bald middle aged man in a suit at a table speaks into microphone. Behind him several signs read World Economic Forum.
University president John J. DeGioia is also a faculty member.

As of 2009, Georgetown University employs approximately 1,311 full-time and 743 part-time faculty members across its three Washington, D.C. campuses, with an additional thirty-two at SFS-Qatar.[3][47] The faculty comprises leading academics and notable political and business leaders, and are predominantly male by a two-to-one margin.[48] Politically, Georgetown University's faculty members give more support to liberal candidates, and while their donation patterns are generally consistent with those of other American university faculties, they gave more than average to Barack Obama's presidential campaign.[49][50]

The current faculty includes scholars such as the former President of the American Philological Association James J. O'Donnell, theologian John Haught, political theorist James V. Schall, social activists Sam Marullo and Chai Feldblum, and preeminent hip-hop scholar Michael Eric Dyson.[51][52] Many former politicians choose to teach at Georgetown, including the former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Andrew Natsios, National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, and CIA director George Tenet. Internationally, the school attracts numerous former ambassadors and heads of state, such as Ambassador Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Prime Minister of Spain José María Aznar, and President of Colombia Álvaro Uribe.[53][54][55]


A large brutalist building with a tall boxlike structure at its front entrance siting in front of a wide green lawn with several trees and a brick walkway.
Lauinger Library, Georgetown's main library, was built in 1970.

Georgetown University is a self-described "student-centered research university"[56] considered by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education to have "very high research activity".[57] As of 2002, Georgetown's libraries hold 2,425,354 items and 48,622 serials in seven buildings, with most in Lauinger Library.[58] The Blommer Science Library, located in the Reiss Science Building on campus, houses most of the Science collection. Additionally, the Law School campus includes the nation's fifth largest law library.[59] Georgetown faculty conduct research in hundreds of subjects, but have priorities in the fields of religion, ethics, science, public policy, and cancer medicine.[60] Cross-institutional research is performed with Columbia University and Virginia Tech.

In 2008, Georgetown spent $143 million on research, ranking it 111th nationwide.[61] In 2007, it received about $14.8 million in federal funds for research, with 64% from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the United States Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.[62] In 2010, the school received $5.6 million from the Department of Education to fund fellowships in several international studies fields.[63] Georgetown University Medical Center received an additional $118.4 million from these and other government sources.[62] Georgetown's Vincent Lombardi Cancer Center is one of 41 research-intensive comprehensive cancer centers in the United States, and developed the breakthrough HPV vaccine for cervical cancer in 2006.[64]

Centers which conduct and sponsor research at Georgetown include the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, the Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim–Christian Understanding and the Woodstock Theological Center. Regular publications include the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, the Georgetown Law Journal, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, and the Georgetown Public Policy Review.


University rankings (overall)
Forbes[65] 47
U.S. News & World Report[66] 22
Washington Monthly[67] 30
ARWU[68] 301-400
QS[69] 166
Times[70] 138

With 19,275 applications and 3,466 admitted for the class of 2014,[c] Georgetown has an overall undergraduate acceptance rate of 17%.[71] The Fiske Guide to Colleges states that "only Stanford and a handful of Ivy League schools are tougher to get into than Georgetown."[72] As of 2011, Georgetown's graduate schools have acceptance rates of 3.6% to the School of Medicine,[73] 19% to the Law Center,[74] 25% to the MSFS,[75] and 34.9% to the MBA program.[76] In 2004, a National Bureau of Economic Research study on revealed preference of U.S. colleges showed that Georgetown was the 16th most-preferred choice.[77]

The undergraduate schools maintain a restrictive Early Action admissions program, as students who have applied through an Early Decision process at another school are not permitted to apply early to Georgetown.[78] 94% of students accepted for the class of 2014 were in the top 10% of their class and had SAT scores ranging from 660–760 in Critical Reading, and 670–770 in Math.[79] Georgetown accepts both the SAT and ACT, though does not consider the writing portion of either.[80] Over 55% of undergraduates receive financial aid, and the university meets 100% of demonstrated need, with an average financial aid package of $23,500 and about 70% of aid distributed in the forms of grants or scholarships.[81]


A panorama of numerous buildings, particularly the tall clocktower, above a stretch of brightly colored autumn trees all reflected in a river.
Georgetown University's main campus is built on a rise above the Potomac River.

Georgetown University has three campuses in Washington, D.C.: the undergraduate campus, the Medical Center, and the Law Center. The undergraduate campus and Medical Center are together in the Georgetown neighborhood and form the main campus. Other centers are located around Washington, D.C., including the Center for Continuing and Professional Education at Clarendon in Arlington, Virginia. Transit between these locations and the Washington Metro is supplied by a system of shuttles, known as GUTS buses.[82] Georgetown also operates a facility in Doha, Qatar, and villas in Alanya, Turkey and Fiesole, Italy. In their campus layout, Georgetown's administrators consistently used the traditional quadrangle design.[83]

Main campus

Georgetown University's undergraduate campus and medical school campus are situated on an elevated site above the Potomac River, overlooking Northern Virginia. The main gates, known as the Healy Gates, are located at the intersection of 37th and O Streets, NW. The main campus is just over 104 acres (0.4 km2) in area and includes fifty-four buildings, student residences capable of accommodating 80% of undergraduates, and various athletic facilities.[84] Most buildings employ collegiate Gothic architecture and Georgian brick architecture. Campus green areas include fountains, a cemetery, large clusters of flowers, groves of trees, and open quadrangles.[85]

The main campus has traditionally centered on Dahlgren Quadrangle, although Red Square has replaced it as the focus of student life.[86] Healy Hall, built in Flemish Romanesque style from 1877 to 1879, is the architectural gem of Georgetown's campus, and is a National Historic Landmark.[87] Both Healy Hall and the Georgetown University Astronomical Observatory, built in 1844, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[88] The medical school is on the northwestern part of the main campus on Reservoir Road, and is integrated with Georgetown University Hospital.[89] Georgetown Visitation, a private Roman Catholic girls high school, is northeast of campus, on land adjoining the undergraduate campus.[90] The school uses many of the townhouses in the Georgetown neighborhood east of the main campus for upperclassmen housing, institutions, and alumni facilities. Additionally, the Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences both have classroom buildings in this area.[89]

In late 2003, the school completed the Southwest Quadrangle Project, and brought a new 907-bed student dorm, an expansive dining hall, an underground parking facility, and new Jesuit Residence to the campus.[91] The school's first performing arts center, named for Royden B. Davis, was completed in November 2005, and the new business school building, named for Rafik Hariri, opened in Fall 2009.[92] Future construction plans include a unified sciences center and expanded athletic facilities.[93] As a location, Georgetown is ranked nationally as the second best college town by the Princeton Review.[94] Despite this, main campus "town and gown" relations are often strained by facilities construction, enlargement of the student body, as well as noise and alcohol violations.[95] Crime is also a persistent issue, with campus security responding to 257 crimes in 2008.[96]

Law Center campus

Two modern glass and concrete building side by side in front of an open grass lawn which has a short clocktower on the left side.
The Hotung International Law Center and GULC fitness center were built in 2005.

The Law Center campus is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood on New Jersey Avenue, near Union Station and consists of five buildings. First-year students at the Law Center can live in the single on-campus dormitory, the Gewirz Student Center.[97] Most second- and third-year students, as well as some first-year students, live off-campus. As there is little housing near the Law Center, most are spread throughout the Washington metropolitan area.[98] The "Campus Completion Project", finished in 2005, saw the addition of the Hotung International Building and the Sport and Fitness Center. G Street and F Street are closed off between 1st and 2nd Streets to create open lawns flanking McDonough Hall, the main building on the campus.[99]

Facilities abroad

A yellow stucco building with a red clay roof and several arched doors and windows, surrounded by green shrubs.
Villa Le Balze in Fiesole, Italy hosts interdisciplinary studies.

In December 1979, the Marquesa Margaret Rockefeller de Larrain, granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, gave the Villa Le Balze to Georgetown University.[100] The Villa is in Fiesole, Italy, on a hill above the city of Florence. The Villa is used year-round for study abroad programs focused on specialized interdisciplinary study of Italian culture and civilization.[101] The main facility for the McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies was donated to Georgetown in 1989 by alumnus and former United States Ambassador to Turkey George C. McGhee.[102] The school is in the town of Alanya, Turkey within the Seljuq-era Alanya Castle, on the Mediterranean. The Center operates study abroad programs one semester each year, concentrating on Turkish language, architectural history, and Islamic studies.[103]

In 2002, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development presented the School of Foreign Service with the resources and space to open a facility in the new Education City in Doha, Qatar.[104] SFS-Qatar opened in 2005 as a liberal arts and international affairs undergraduate school for regional students.[105] In December 2007, Georgetown opened a liaison office in Shanghai, China to coordinate with Fudan University and others.[106] In 2008, the Georgetown University Law Center in conjunction with an international consortium of law schools established the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London, England.[107]

Student life

The Georgetown undergraduate student body, at 7,433 as of August 2009,[3] is composed primarily of students from outside the District of Columbia area, with 34% of new 2010 students coming from Mid-Atlantic states, 11% being international students and the remainder coming from other areas of the US.[108] The student body also represents 129 different countries, with 9% being international,[58] including over 330 undergraduate and 1,050 graduate students who chose to come to Georgetown as a study abroad destination in 2009–10.[109] As of that year, the racial diversity of the undergraduate student body was 62.3% white, 8.8% Asian, 6.3% black, and 5.9% Hispanic; Additionally, 55.2% of undergraduates are female.[58]

Many students mingle in the background while a group sit in the foreground on a grass lawn. The large stone clocktower is seen above the trees on the lawn.
Students celebrate Georgetown Day in late spring with a campus carnival.

Although it is a Jesuit university, only 41.2% of the student body identify as Roman Catholic, while 22.2% identify as Protestant as of 2009.[110] Georgetown employs a full-time rabbi, as 6.5% of undergraduates are Jewish.[110] It was the first U.S. college to have a full-time imam, to serve the over four-hundred Muslims on campus.[111] Georgetown also sponsors student groups for Bahá'i, Buddhist, Hindu, and Mormon traditions.[112] The student body consists of both religious and irreligious students, and more than four-hundred freshmen and transfer students attend a nonreligious Ignatian retreat annually, called ESCAPE.[113][114] A 2007 survey of undergraduates also suggests that 62.8% are sexually active, while 6.2% identify as LGBTQ.[110][115] Discrimination can be a issue on campus, and three-fourths of a 2009 survey considered homophobia a campus problem.[116] Newsweek, however, rated Georgetown among its top "Gay-Friendly Schools" in 2010.[117]

Almost all undergraduates attend full-time.[118] A majority of undergraduates, 76%, live on-campus in several dormitories and apartment complexes, including all underclassmen.[119] As of 2011, 1255 undergraduates and 339 graduate students live off-campus, mostly in the Georgetown, Glover Park, Burleith, and Foxhall neighborhoods.[120] Although many of the University's hall directors and area coordinators attend graduate level courses, on-campus housing is not available for main campus graduate students.[121] The school hopes to build such housing by 2020.[122] All students in the Medical School live off-campus, most in the surrounding neighborhoods, with some in Northern Virginia and elsewhere through the region.[123]

Student groups

Georgetown University has 172 registered student organizations that cover a variety of interests: student government, club sports, media and publications, performing arts, religion, and volunteer and service.[124][125] Students also operate campus stores, banks, and medical services. Students often find their interests at the Student Activities Commission Club Fair, where both official and unofficial organizations set up tables.[126] The Georgetown University Student Association is the student government organization for undergraduates. There are also student representatives within the schools, to the Board of Directors, and, since 1996, to the Georgetown Advisory Neighborhood Commission.[127]

A young man in a gray business suit stands speaking at the center while other young men in suits sit looking on.
The Philodemic Society was founded in 1830, and holds weekly and annual debates on campus.

Georgetown's student organizations include one of the nation's oldest debating clubs, the Philodemic Society, founded in 1830,[128] and the oldest university theater group, the Mask and Bauble Dramatic Society.[129] Nomadic Theatre, founded in 1982 as an alternative troupe without an on-campus home, produces "plays which educate and challenge all members of the university community through thought-provoking theatre."[130] The Georgetown Improv Association, founded in 1995, performs monthly long-form improvisational shows on-campus at Bulldog Alley in addition to hosting "Improvfest", one of the oldest improv festivals in the country.[131]

There are a total of seven a cappella groups on campus, including the Phantoms, Superfood, The GraceNotes, The Georgetown Chimes, the Chamber Singers, Essence, Harmony, the service-oriented Saxatones, and the all-male Capitol G's.[132] These groups perform annually at the "D.C. A Cappella Festival", held since 1991, and the "Cherry Tree Massacre" concert, held since 1974.[133][134] The Georgetown University Band is composed of the Georgetown Pep Band and the Georgetown Wind Ensemble, and performs on campus, in Washington, D.C., and at post-season basketball tournaments.[135]

Two young white men sit at a table with several teenage African American students mingle around it, and one signs a paper on it. Also on the table is a laptop.
Students volunteer at a D.C. inner-city school

In addition to student organizations and clubs, Georgetown University is home to the nation's largest entirely student-owned and -operated corporation, Students of Georgetown, Inc. Founded in 1972, "The Corp" operates three coffee shops and two grocery stores, and runs storage and airport shuttles for students.[136] The business has annual revenues of over $1.3 million, which are directly re-invested into the Georgetown student body through Corp Philanthropy, which gave out over $50,000 in scholarships and donations to Georgetown groups in 2010–11.[137] Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union is the oldest and largest student-run financial institution, with over $16 million in assets and 12,000 members.[138] The Georgetown University Student Investment Fund is one of a few undergraduate-run investment funds in the United States, and hosted CNBC's Jim Cramer to tape Mad Money in September 2006.[139]

Another student-run group, the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service, "GERMS", is an all-volunteer ambulance service founded in 1982 that serves campus and the surrounding communities. Georgetown's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) unit, the Hoya Battalion, is the oldest military unit native to the District of Columbia.[140] The proportion of ROTC students at Georgetown was the 79th highest among universities in the United States as of 2010.[141] GUGS, the Georgetown University Grilling Society, has been a Georgetown tradition since 2002, selling half-pound hamburgers in Red Square on most Fridays.[142]


A college-aged female in jacket and scarf holds the microphone attachment of a bullhorn while other students hold protest signs behind her. Two with large red X's over the words read "Free Speech" and "Access".
H*yas for Choice protest outside the Intercultural Center in Red Square, which is often used for campus activism.

Georgetown University student organizations include a diverse array of groups focused on social justice issues, including organizations run through both Student Affairs and the Center for Social Justice. Oriented against gender violence, Take Back the Night coordinates an annual rally and march to protest against rape and other forms of violence against women.[143] Georgetown Solidarity Committee is a workers' rights organization whose successes include ending use of sweatshops in producing Georgetown-logoed apparel, and garnering pay raises for both university cleaning staff and police.[144] Georgetown Students for Fair Trade successfully advocated for all coffee in campus cafeterias to be Fair Trade Certified.[145]

Georgetown has many additional groups representing national, ethnic, and linguistic interests. Georgetown's has the second most politically active student body in the United States according to the Princeton Review.[94] Groups based on local, national, and international issues are popular, and political speech is protected on campus. Student political organizations are active on campus and engage their many members in local and national politics. The Georgetown University College Republicans represent their party, while the Georgetown University College Democrats, the largest student organization on campus in 2008, represent theirs.[146]

The reproductive rights organization H*yas for Choice is not officially recognized by the University as its positions on abortion are in opposition to University policy, prompting the asterisk in "Hoyas".[147] While not financially supported by the school, the organization is permitted to meet and table in university spaces.[148] In 2010, the "Plan A: Hoyas for Reproductive Justice" campaign led several protests against the school policy against the sale of birth control on campus,[149] and in 2007, Georgetown University Law Center students protested the University's decision to cease funding for a student's internship at Planned Parenthood's litigation department despite funding it previous years.[150] The issue contributes to Georgetown's 'red light' status on free speech under the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education rating system.[151]


Georgetown University has several student-run newspapers. The Hoya is the University's oldest newspaper. It has been in print since 1920, and since 1987, has been published twice weekly.[152] The Georgetown Voice, known for its weekly cover stories, is a newsmagazine that was founded in March 1969 to focus more attention on citywide and national issues.[153] The Georgetown Independent is a monthly journal of news, commentary and the arts.[154] Founded in 1966, the Georgetown Law Weekly is the student-run paper on the Law Center campus, and is a three time winner of the American Bar Association's Best Newspaper award.[155]

Several young men and women sit in office chairs working at computers around a room where the walls are covered in printed pages. A central wood table and bookcases are featured.
The Hoya student newspaper office in the Leavey Center

The Georgetown Academy, restarted in 2008 after a hiatus, targets traditionalist Catholic readers, and the Georgetown Federalist, founded in 2006, purports to bring a conservative and libertarian viewpoint to campus.[156][157] Counterpoint Magazine is a monthly publication founded in the spring of 2011.[158] The magazine is independent from Georgetown and was created with the intention of focusing primarily on national issues and bringing an explicitly liberal perspective to campus. The Fire This Time is Georgetown's only minority newssource.[159] The Georgetown Heckler is a humor magazine founded on the Internet in 2003 by Georgetown students, releasing its first print issue in 2007.[160] The Gonzo was a former student humor magazine, published from 1993 to 1998. The Hoya and The Georgetown Voice both run online blogs, and there are other popular blogs written about the school and its sports teams.

The University has a campus-wide television station, GUTV, which began broadcasting in 1999. The station hosts an annual student film festival in April for campus filmmakers.[161] WGTB, Georgetown's radio station, is available as a webcast and on 92.3 FM in certain dormitories. The station was founded in 1946, and broadcast on 90.1 FM from 1960 to 1979, when university president Timothy S. Healy gave away the frequency and broadcast capabilities to the University of the District of Columbia because of WGTB's far left political orientation.[162]

Greek life

A yellow three story town house with steps in front and a small lawn with shrubs and trees.
3401 Prospect St, home to ΔΦΕ, is used by other Greek societies.

Although Jesuit schools are not obliged to disassociate from Greek systems, many do, and Georgetown University does not officially recognize or fund fraternities, sororities, or secret societies among the student body.[163] Despite this, Greek organizations persist on campus, although none require members to live in fraternal housing.[164] Additionally, Georgetown University students are affiliated, in some cases, with fraternities at other nearby universities and colleges.[165]

Active fraternities at Georgetown include Delta Phi Epsilon, a professional foreign service fraternity; Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional business fraternity; Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed community service fraternity; Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish social fraternity; and social fraternities Sigma Phi Epsilon and Zeta Psi. Delta Phi Epsilon was founded at Georgetown in 1920, and members of their Alpha Chapter include Jesuits and several deans of the School of Foreign Service.[166] The Delta Phi Epsilon foreign service sorority, founded in 1973, is the only sorority active at Georgetown.[167] Georgetown's chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, affiliated with the campus Hillel, was established in 2002.[168] Sigma Phi Epsilon chartered its chapter as a general social fraternity in 2007.[169] The Omega Lambda chapter of professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi replaced Delta Sigma Pi, which lost its charter in 2006.[163] The Zeta Psi chapter, named Gamma Epsilon, was chartered in March 2009 after a year as a colony.[170]


Annual events on campus celebrate Georgetown traditions, culture, alumni, sports, and politics. In late April, Georgetown University celebrates Georgetown Day.[171] Besides the full-day carnival, the day rewards the best professor of the year with the Dorothy Brown Award, as voted by students. Halloween is celebrated with public viewings of alumnus William Peter Blatty's film The Exorcist, which takes place in the neighborhood surrounding the university.[172]

A speaker at a podium in the center of a stage decorated with nine American flags and a red carpet.
Gaston Hall is a venue for many events.

Homecoming coincides with a home football game, and festivities such as tailgating and a formal dance are sponsored by the Alumni Association to draw past graduates back to campus.[173] The largest planned sports related celebration is the first basketball practice of the season. Dubbed Midnight Madness, this event introduces the men's and women's basketball teams shortly after midnight on the first day the teams are allowed by NCAA rules to formally practice together.[174] In 2011, Georgetown again hosted a first round division of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.[175]

Georgetown University hosts notable speakers each year, largely because of the success of the Georgetown Lecture Fund and the Office of Communications.[176] These are frequently important heads of state who visit Georgetown while in the capital, as well as scholars, authors, U.S. politicians, and religious leaders. The Office of the President hosts numerous symposia on religious topics, such as Nostra Ætate, Pacem in Terris, and the Building Bridges Seminar.[177]


Five young shirtless men pose defiantly in a crowd. Each has a letter in blue on their chests to spell HOYAS.
Students cheering for Georgetown's men's basketball team

Georgetown fields 23 varsity teams and the Club Sports Board supports an additional 23 club teams. The varsity teams participate in the NCAA's Division I. The school generally competes in the Big East Conference, although the football team competes in the Division I FCS Patriot League, the sailing team in Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association, and the rowing teams in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges. Georgetown University graduates over 90% of its student athletes.[178] U.S. News & World Report listed Georgetown's athletics program among the 20 best in the nation.[179]

The school's teams are called "Hoyas", a name whose origin is uncertain. Sometime before 1893, students well versed in classical languages invented the mixed Greek and Latin chant of "Hoya Saxa", translating roughly as "what (or such) rocks". The school's baseball team, then called the Stonewalls, began in 1870, and football in 1874, and the chant likely refers to one of these teams.[180] In 1926 the football team replaced Sergeant Stubby as mascot with a Bull Terrier they nicknamed "Hoya" because of the cheer, and by 1928, campus sports writers began to refer to teams as "Hoyas" rather than "Hilltoppers".[181][182] The name was picked up in the local publications, and became official shortly after. Jack the Bulldog has been the mascot of Georgetown athletics programs since 1962, and the school fight song is There Goes Old Georgetown.

The men's basketball team is particularly noteworthy as it won the NCAA championship in 1984 under coach John Thompson. The current coach is his son, John Thompson III, who coached the team to the Final Four in the 2007 NCAA tournament. The team leads the Big East with seven conference tournament titles, and has made twenty-seven NCAA tournament appearances.[183][184] Well-known team alumni include Sleepy Floyd, Patrick Ewing, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, Allen Iverson, Jeff Green, and Roy Hibbert.[185] Besides basketball, Georgetown is nationally successful in rowing,[186] sailing,[187] men's and women's lacrosse,[188][189] cross country, and track and field.[190] In all, over one-hundred student athletes have gone on to play professionally.[191]


Three older, white men in suits and ties stand on a stone balcony, with trees and brick buildings behind them.
John J. DeGioia meets with U.S. President Bill Clinton, SFS graduate from 1968, and his White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, Law Center graduate from 1976.

Georgetown graduates have found success in a wide variety of fields, and have served at the heads of diverse institutions both in the public and private sector. Immediately after graduation, around 54–61% of undergraduates enter the workforce, while others go on to additional education.[192] Georgetown graduates have been recipients of 23 Rhodes Scholarships, 18 Marshall Scholarships, and 24 Truman Scholarships. Georgetown is also one of the top ten producers of Peace Corps volunteers as of 2009.[193] Georgetown alumni have a median starting salary of $55,000 with a median mid-career salary of $110,000.[192] Just over 3% of Georgetown's 97,384 living alumni were listed in Marquis Who's Who, the 14th highest percentage and eighth highest raw number among American universities as of 2000.[194] NNDB, the Notable Names Database, lists 353 notable alumni as of 2011.[195]

Twelve current or former heads of state are alumni. Former President of the United States Bill Clinton is a 1968 graduate of the School of Foreign Service, and others include Laura Chinchilla, current President of Costa Rica, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former President of the Philippines, and Saad Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon.[196][197][198] Six alumni serve in the United States Senate, and thirteen in the House of Representatives. Current congressional alumni include Dick Durbin, Senate majority whip, and Steny Hoyer, House minority whip.[199] Governors include Pat Quinn of Illinois, John Lynch of New Hampshire, and Luis Fortuño, of Puerto Rico.[200] On the U.S. Supreme Court, alumni include current Associate Justice Antonin Scalia and former Chief Justice Edward Douglass White.[195]

Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud of the Saudi Royal Family, Pavlos, Crown Prince of Greece of Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark of the deposed Greek Royal Family are among the royalty who attended the school. Besides numerous members of the senior diplomatic corps, graduates have also headed military organizations on both the domestic and international level, such as former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former National Security Advisor General James L. Jones.[201] Notable alumni in business include Patricia Russo, former Alcatel-Lucent CEO, William J. Doyle of the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, and Ted Leonsis, owner of the Washington Capitals, Wizards, and Mystics franchises and former America Online executive.[202][203]

See also


Portal icon District of Columbia portal
Portal icon University portal

a Utraque Unum is Latin from Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians 2:14. See official explanation. Other translations available.

b While Patrick Francis Healy inherited African ancestry from his mother and was consequently classified as racially black according to the "one-drop rule" of 19th century American society, he self-identified racially as white and ethnically as Irish American.

c The undergraduate class of 2015 are students who begin school in August 2011, as the expected matriculation is four years.


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