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Remarks by President John J. DeGioia

Snow Appreciation Breakfast for Georgetown Employees

March 3, 2010

It’s a pleasure to be with all of you this morning. I’m grateful for your company . . . and it seems especially appropriate to begin this day with a few flakes of snow!

Three weeks ago, we were in the midst of a series of storms that few of us ever dreamed possible. Some called it our Snowpocalypse. Others said it was our Snowmageddeon. Both were appropriate, for over six days, two great winter storms dropped more than thirty inches of snow on this campus . . . right in the middle of a busy semester.

You heard the forecasts . . . but you stayed. You saw the first flakes falling. . . and you went to work. When others feared to travel through the severe weather, or were unable to dig out from the deep snowdrifts that surrounded their cars, you found a way.  More than one hundred of you, from different maintenance shops and administrative areas, worked around the clock during the storms. Many of you remained on campus overnight, and for many nights, sleeping on cots in McShane Longue or beds in our residence halls and our Conference Center.

Not that you slept much. You opened roads and paths. You kept the lights on at Copley, the heat up at Harbin, and the students fed with two meals a day at Leos. Thanks to you, our students were able to study at Lauinger and to work out at Yates.

You handled distress calls from students and parents; made adjustments for a funeral mass, a wake and a wedding, all of which happened; and even provided transportation home for university employees stranded in the Car Barn. Many Department of Public Safety officers, as well as the members of our contract security firm, stayed overnight to ensure a safe campus.

You did all this on our campus . . . and then you went out into our community. Our plowing and salting teams went to the aid of residents in the neighborhoods surrounding this Hilltop. They also serviced many other major thoroughfares in D.C. and Virginia, plowing P and Q Streets to Dupont Circle and going across the Key Bridge into Arlington.

By the time you were done, you had gone through 229 pairs of gloves plying twenty-seven ice choppers and pushing sixty-six shovels. You poured out 28,000 pounds of chemical ice melt and 48,000 pounds of rock salt. And you piled up more than 5,000 tons of snow.

You kept us functioning as a campus and together as a community. So on behalf of all the leadership at Georgetown, thank you. We will always be grateful for your selfless service and relentless dedication. . . whenever we remember Snowmageddon 2010.

Georgetown University37th and O Streets, N.W., Washington D.C. 20057(202) 687.0100

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