ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP IN EXTRAORDINARY TIMES
As a Catholic and Jesuit research university with a 220-year history in the nation’s capital, Georgetown has demonstrated its leadership through many periods of challenge and sacrifice. We first rose to meet great trials during the founding of the American Republic and again after the Civil War as the nation searched for unity.
We gathered during the Great Depression, and we gather now. Throughout its history, the University has never wavered from its mission of preparing men and women for others.
These are very challenging times, and they are demanding the very best of everyone. No one knows how deep this economic recession will go, how long it will last, or how we will ultimately turn it around. With every day, the headlines continue to provide reminders of the serious state of our economy. In response, Georgetown University has reinforced its commitment to academic excellence, sought to meet the needs of our community, and ensured that we build the durable financial platform necessary for our continued upward trajectory as a world-renowned university.
The University has made an investment in its future by significantly bolstering scholarships and financial aid in the coming academic year to help meet the needs of Georgetown families and our extraordinary students in these tough times. Georgetown remains focused on its greatest responsibilities: preparing young people for lives of intellectual and civic engagement and providing a place where faculty can pursue ideas for the benefit of all humankind.
This has proven to be another terrific year for admissions at Georgetown as the number of applications held steady with last year’s record-breaking numbers. We received more than 18,600 undergraduate applications for 1,580 places in the incoming freshman class. At the end of March, acceptance letters were mailed to 3,483 applicants (18.7%). 6,217 individuals applied through our non-binding Early Action program and 1,122 (18%) were admitted. On average, those admitted through this program ranked in the top 2% of their high school class and scored a combined 1459 on their verbal and math SAT.
The number of applications to the Early Action program from African Americans was 19% higher than last year with 344 applicants – the largest number of African American applicants among Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) schools reporting early numbers. MIT’s 215 ranked a distant second.
Applications to the Law Center indicate the strongest applicant pool we’ve ever had. This year so far, applications nationwide are down 5% while at Georgetown they’re up 12%, the largest gap in the last ten years. As of now, one law applicant in six nationwide applies to Georgetown, but of the strongest applicants nationwide (those with a 3.75 GPA and higher and 170 LSAT and higher), more than two out of three apply here, up from one out of two last year. Georgetown routinely receives more applications than any other law school in the country.
Admissions to our School of Medicine also remained strong; we received 10,797 applications for 196 places. This is a 4% decrease in the number of applications from last year; however, the applications for 2009 are 2% higher than in 2007. This shift reflects the overall decline in the number of applications in the national pool this year. Overall, one medical school applicant in four nationwide applies to Georgetown.
Student and Alumni Achievement
• Ohm J. Gore (C’10), a John Carroll Fellow and advocate for juvenile justice reform, attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos as part of the British Council’s Guildford Program.
• Megan Mylan (F’92) won an Academy Award for best short documentary for her film Smile Pinki, which focuses on a child born with cleft lip in impoverished, rural India.
• 35 undergraduate alumni served in the Peace Corps in 2008, which maintains Georgetown’s ranking as the fifth-largest producer of Peace Corps volunteers among all private U.S. colleges and universities.
• The National Cancer Institute awarded major grants to two Associate Professors of Oncology in the School of Medicine: Professor Rabindra Roy received a 5-year, $1.2 million grant and Professor Jeffrey Toretsky received a 5-year, $1.5 million grant for cancer-related research.
• The Department of Energy awarded its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on
* Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award to Physics Professor James K. Freericks.
• Former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) joined our faculty as a distinguished Professor in the Practice of National Governance in the School of Foreign Service.
• Paula R. Newberg, an expert on South Asia with experience in governance and conflict resolution from positions with the United Nations, the Brookings Institution, the World Bank, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, became Director of Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
• Law Professor Vicki Jackson, one of the nation’s foremost experts in comparative constitutional law, was named Associate Dean for Transnational Legal Studies.
• English Professor Lena Orlin was appointed as Georgetown’s faculty representative to the Central Executive Committee of the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Recent Scholarly Works Published by Faculty:
Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism, by Assistant History Professor Maurice Jackson
The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka: Terrorism, Ethnicity, Political Economy, by Government Professor Asoka Bandarage
New Degree Programs
The Law Center has announced a new partnership with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva, Switzerland, to offer a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Global Health Law and International Institutions. The program, which will begin in the 2009-2010 academic year, will be open to candidates with a first law degree and a strong background in global health law and policy. Students begin their coursework at Georgetown and complete it in Geneva while participating in internships at international institutions such as the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and the World Trade Organization.
The University is also delighted to offer a new Master’s degree in Italian Studies. The program, which will begin in fall 2010, builds on cooperative agreements with several Italian universities, including the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane in Florence, the Università per Straniero di Perugia, and Milan’s Bocconi University, the leading Italian institution of higher learning for business administration. The Italian Department has also secured internship commitments from leading financial and commercial firms.
Service to Our Community and the World
Citing above average rates of breast cancer mortality in the Washington, D.C. area, Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center has made local intervention a priority. In Southeast Washington, Lombardi operates the Capital Breast Care Center in conjunction with the MedStar Research and Washington Hospital Center and makes its services available to all uninsured District women. Last year alone, the center performed nearly 1,600 mammograms and 300 clinical breast exams and screened more than 2,100 patients. Lombardi, the only comprehensive cancer center in the Washington area, also operates Celebremos!, a periodic breast and cervical cancer screening clinic for Latinas. The free health services are provided by bilingual staff.
Former First Lady Laura Bush announced in December that Georgetown’s Center for Child and Human Development will become the permanent home of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. The Council, which meets in both Washington, D.C. and in the Middle East every year, was established by President Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in January 2002 to promote public-private partnerships
between American and Afghan institutions and to mobilize private sector resources to help Afghan women. For the last two years, the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and Georgetown University have been working in partnership to help empower Afghan women through educational opportunities, skills training, improving political and legal participation, and access to medical care. As the Council transitions from the State Department to Georgetown, Phyllis Magrab, Director of the Center for Child and Human Development, will work to shape the future direction of the Council.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recently selected Georgetown for its 2008 Community Engagement Classification in recognition of the University’s commitment to community based learning programs, outreach and partnerships. Georgetown is among 119 U.S. colleges and universities selected to receive this classification.
For the third year in a row, Georgetown has been selected for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll “with distinction.” Georgetown’s selection highlighted two programs in particular:
• DC Street Law Clinics in High Schools provides legal education to laypersons while also aiding in the professional development of Georgetown Law students.
• PreventionWorks!, endeavors to curb the spread of HIV and other blood-borne diseases, for exemplary community service.
The Meyers Institute for College Preparation and Kids2College, programs that put disadvantaged young people on the path to higher education, were also highlighted.
Our entire community is honored to have the University’s tradition of service recognized in these ways.
Expanded Partnership with China
The first class of the Georgetown University Executive Education Institute for Mid-Career Chinese Officials graduated in January. 25 mid-career executives from eight provinces around China underwent an intensive, comprehensive, two-week training program focused on five major areas of relevance to contemporary society: business strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship, communications, and U.S. public policy. The program featured interactive sessions with leaders from the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Housing and Urban Development and has deepened Georgetown’s relationship with the Chinese academic and business communities.
Georgetown in Qatar
The School of Foreign Service in Qatar is preparing to move from a shared building into a nearly 400,000-square-foot facility of its own. The building, scheduled to open in fall 2010, will include classrooms, offices, a library and other facilities for more than 200 undergraduate and graduate students.
Funded by the Qatar Foundation, it was designed by architectural firm Legoretta and Legoretta. The Mexico City-based firm also designed the neighboring buildings now occupied by the Qatar campuses of Carnegie Mellon and Texas A&M Universities.
Dean Gallucci to Depart
The Trustees of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation have named Robert L. Gallucci, Dean of the School of Foreign Service, to be their next President, effective July 1. This is undoubtedly a great loss for our community, but I know that Bob’s experiences both here at Georgetown and throughout his distinguished career will make him a tremendous leader at the MacArthur Foundation.
Dean of the SFS since 1996, Bob’s extraordinary leadership has been manifested in top rankings for a number of the School’s undergraduate and graduate programs. Provost O’Donnell and I will launch a formal search process for Bob’s successor in the months ahead.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND NATIONAL SERVICE
Georgetown owes its distinguished position in the nation’s capital to its long tradition of service. As the 44th President of the United States took office, Georgetown University celebrated the arrival of a new national leader and prepared to engage with a new administration that faces great challenges.
We have had a number of wonderful opportunities to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama and to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead for the new administration and the 111th Congress. On January 16, the Georgetown community gathered for an Interfaith Prayer for the Nation, which my office hosted together with the Department of Campus Ministry. Rev. Constance Wheeler, Imam Yahya Hendi, Fr. Kevin O’Brien, Fr. Phil Burroughs, and Rabbi Harold White participated in this event.
The weekend before President Obama’s inauguration, Georgetown faculty gathered to discuss challenges facing the new administration. MSFS Director Tony Arend, Professor of Finance Reena Aggarwal,
Professor of Geography and Geoscience Tim Beach, and Professor of Public Policy Judy Feder took part. Paul Begala, former advisor to President Clinton and GPPI Research Professor, moderated.
I am pleased to report that President Obama and his administration have selected a number of members of our community to serve with him:
• Georgetown Law Professor Daniel Tarullo (C’73), Federal Reserve Board
• Security Studies Program Professor Steve Kosiak (L’98), Associate Director for Defense and International Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget
• Neal Katyal, the Paul and Patricia Saunders Professor of National Security Law, Principal Deputy Solicitor General
• Law Center Professor Lisa Heinzerling, Senior Climate Policy Council to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson
• Law Center Professor Martin Lederman, Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel
• Security Studies Program Visiting Professor Jennifer Sims, National Security Team
• Adjunct Law Professor David Kris, to lead the Justice Department’s national security division
A number of Georgetown alumni were also recently appointed to serve in the Obama-Biden administration.
• Robert Gates (G’74), Secretary of Defense
• General James L. Jones (F’66), National Security Adviser
• Ron Klain (C’83), Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden
• Brian McKeon (L’95), Deputy National Security Advisor to the Vice President
• Elizabeth Alexander (L’08), Press Secretary to the Vice President
• Katie McCarmick Lelyveld (C’01), Press Secretary to First Lady Michelle Obama
In January, Professor Michael Eric Dyson appeared on Face the Nation with Lawrence Summers, Director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Slate magazine’s John Dickerson to discuss the inauguration and Obama’s first steps as president.
Georgetown also wasted little time in fostering dialogue around some of the most complex problems facing the new administration. In late January, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, the Center for Peace and Security Studies, and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies joined to discuss “Obama’s Challenges in the Muslim
World.” John Esposito spoke on “New Directions in U.S. Policy: What do Muslims Think?;” Aaron David Miller of the Woodrow Wilson Center delivered “Gulliver’s Troubles: The Obama Administration and the Arab-Israeli Issue;” Hisham Melhem, the first journalist to interview Barack Obama as President, addressed “Redefining the War on Terrorism and the Freedom Agenda,” and Paula Newberg spoke on “Afghanistan and Pakistan: Political Borders, Military Boundaries, Cross-Border Insurgencies and Borderless Policies.” SFS Professor John Voll moderated.
And in February, the School of Continuing Studies joined with Politico to host the Transition 2009 Conference at the National Press Club. The Conference focused on the road ahead for the new administration and included David Plouffe, President Obama’s 2008 Campaign Manager; Andrew H. Card, Former Chief of Staff for George W. Bush; Thomas “Mack” McLarty, Former Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton; and Congressman Steny Hoyer (L’66), House Majority Leader.
Finally, Lauinger Library marked the occasions of last November’s presidential election and the inauguration of President Obama by presenting an exhibition of artwork, artifacts, and memorabilia connected with presidential elections and inaugurations from years past. From President Washington to President Clinton (F’68), the exhibition included art prints, illustrations from Victorian news magazines, political cartoons, and campaign buttons.
EDUCATING THE WHOLE PERSON – ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE
Following the philosophy of mens sana in corpore sano (sound mind, sound body), the long tradition of athletics at Georgetown grows out of the Jesuit approach to education – seeking balance in the care, growth, and development of the individual. With approximately 10% of undergraduates participating in intercollegiate athletics, the athletic program at Georgetown has a unique and significant impact on the entire undergraduate experience.
The Georgetown University women’s and men’s lacrosse squads each had three players named to the Preseason All-BIG EAST team and All-ECAC preseason team respectively: Ashby Kaestner (B’10), Jordan Trautman (C’09), and Molly Ford (B’10), Andrew Brancaccio (B’10), Craig Dowd (C’10), and Barney Ehrmann (B’10).
Georgetown football’s Ataefiok Etukeren (B’09) was selected to play in the Texas vs. Nation All-Star Challenge, a nationally televised game which pits top collegiate players originally from Texas or who play college football in Texas against top players from around the nation. Ataefiok was one of just two players from the Patriot League selected. In the classroom, Ataefiok was also named to the 2008 ESPN the Magazine All-District 2 First Team, carrying a 3.33 cumulative grade-point average in operations management, with minors in marketing and theology.
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams broke school records in 13 different events at the BIG EAST Championships in February; on the men’s side, the team broke more than half of its possible school records. Georgetown had a school record 38 student-athletes compete at the championships Former Georgetown baseball player Tim Brosnan (C’80) was named one of the “50 Most Influential People in Sports Business” by the Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal for his work as Executive Vice President of Business for Major League Baseball.
And in January, former football player Jim Schwartz (C’89) was named the Head Coach for the National Football League’s Detroit Lions in a press conference at Ford Field in Detroit. Before coming to the Lions, Coach Schwartz served as the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans for the last eight seasons.
ADVANCING COMMUNITY AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES
It is characteristic of Georgetown that, in the most difficult times, our community steps forward to help provided an extraordinary education to students and foster the University’s service to the world beyond campus gates.
Although few institutions were fully prepared for the severity of the current downturn, Georgetown’s resilience has benefited from very strong efforts in recent years to strengthen the University’s finances.
Over the past five years the University’s financial performance has improved with better than projected operating results for each of these years. Last fall, our bond rating was upgraded to A-. These financial improvements have aided the University resilience.
Nevertheless, the recession is having adverse impacts on our operating budget as it has most colleges and universities. In the five-year financial plan recently approved by the Board of Directors, early projections for FY 2009 have the University at a $37.8 million deficit due to the effects of the recession. Almost $20 million of this deficit comes from costs associated with restructuring our debt and possible declines in donations.
Our endowment value decreased 25.5% in 2008, ending on December 31 at $833 million. A reduction in the value of Georgetown University Retirement Program (GURP) assets will require higher cash contributions from the University over the next few years. Although our fundraising was extremely strong in 2008, we are budgeting conservatively and thus anticipating a contraction in philanthropy in the current economic climate. We also expect that our students will experience a greater need for financial aid.
Tuition Cost and Financial Aid
As one of only a handful of colleges and universities in the United States to commit to need-blind admissions and financial aid policies that meet full need, Georgetown has been able to recruit and retain an extraordinary student body.
More than half of our undergraduates rely on financial aid and Georgetown scholarships average $23,500 a year. In 2008, Georgetown undergraduates received a total of $117 million in financial aid. Despite this commitment, the average Georgetown student graduates $17,500 in debt. To be competitive, particularly in a financial environment as volatile as the one that we are in, Georgetown must offer financial aid packages with more scholarships and fewer loans.
Recognizing the financial strain that many families have encountered, our fiscal 2010 budget includes the most modest tuition increases in a generation: a 2.9% increase for the Main Campus. We hope that this sends a strong signal to students and families that we understand the financial challenges they face.
Another way that we are responding to the needs of our families is by increasing resources for financial aid. On the Main Campus, we are planning for a financial aid increase of 18% for undergraduates.
Last fall the University established that it could function as a direct lending institution should it need to do so. Taking advantage of this federal program means that our students will have access to affordable, government-guaranteed credit options through the University at no risk to Georgetown. At this point we do not yet know the full scope of student need across all of our programs, but those details will emerge in the coming months, and I will share them with you in future reports.
The 2010 Budget
As we developed the 2010 budget, we faced difficult decisions about faculty and staff compensation amid financial uncertainty. With the support of our Board of Directors, we have decided to delay faculty and staff increases for the first six months of the new budget until January 1, 2010.We also decided that base salary increases will be lower this year than we would have wished. This approach gives us greater flexibility to manage any new impacts of the recession and enables the University to preserve cash in the short term while still realizing our priority of providing higher base increases for the future.
The five-year financial plan we brought to the Board of Directors takes a conservative approach to future spending. Our senior leaders are delaying filling vacant positions. We are asking budget managers to review with extreme care all expenses, including expenditures for equipment and travel. In January I announced that my salary, and those of senior executives, will be frozen for eighteen months.
As you know, the unstable capital markets have caused the University to place our next campus development projects on hold. The Science Center is the next major project to be undertaken (after the opening of the new home for our McDonough School of Business this year), but its start date remains uncertain.
We continue to monitor the markets and remain committed to moving forward with the project as soon as is practical.
I am deeply grateful to our vibrant community, which made last year an outstanding year for fundraising at Georgetown. We received the largest gift in our history last year – an estimated $75 million from the estate of alumnus Robert McDevitt (C’40) – and experienced particular success in fundraising for faculty positions and financial aid, which was extremely gratifying. While we must be prudent about our expectations for growth in philanthropy during a recession, we will place special emphasis on fundraising for gifts that immediately benefit our operations, including institutional financial aid.
The University continues to make strong progress during the quiet phase of the capital campaign, which has raised more than $436 million through January 31. The first month of this year represented the best January ever for both cash gifts and commitments, and the first seven months of fiscal year 2009 were also the best ever in both categories. Yet the proportion of commitments made in cash has risen to 92% versus a historical average benchmark of 63%, which indicates that donors are taking a cautious approach amid the current uncertainty.
Other indicators show caution among our supporters. The number of pledges made in December represented only 26% of the number made in December 2007, and the volume of securities transactions in December was 48% of the previous December’s volume.
However, there are positive indicators as well: participation in Annual Fund is up slightly as of December.
Even if Georgetown were to exclude the McDevitt gift from its fiscal year 2009 figures, through January this has been the third-best year in cash gifts ever.
Gina Mortara and Lance Weaver (B’76) were honored at this year’s ninth annual Wall Street Alliance Gala at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on February 26. Both Lance and Gina are former members of the Board of Directors and Board of Regents.
I traveled to London in January, where I had the pleasure of attending a reception for the London Alumni Club. It was terrific event, and its high attendance truly demonstrated the thriving community of Georgetown alumni living in London. While in London I also had the opportunity to attend a dinner hosted by Joe (B’93) and Abbie (F’96) Baratta for the London City Alliance. It was wonderful to discuss with its members the ways in which Georgetown can become more engaged in business and finance industries, particularly internationally.
Also in January, we celebrated the 22nd Annual Hoyas Unlimited Athletic Recognition Dinner, honoring Stephen J. Paluszek (B’79) with the Outstanding Contribution to Georgetown Athletics Award. The J. Gregory Carroll Award for Outstanding Service to Hoyas Unlimited was awarded to Drew Schreiber (F’86). The Outstanding Coach of the Year Award went to David Nolan, Georgetown’s Women’s Soccer Coach. The Robert A. Duffey Scholar Athlete Award was presented to football alumnus Kyle Van Fleet (B’08).
ENGAGING THE WORLD
Georgetown has always sought to engage the broader world, to disseminate knowledge as means of improving the world for the common good. Grounded in our Jesuit and Catholic identity and enhanced by our location in the nation’s capital, we believe we are accomplishing this by bringing the world to Georgetown and bringing Georgetown into the world through the work of our students, faculty and alumni.
Catholic and Jesuit Heritage
In early February, the University community celebrated Jesuit Heritage Week, a week-long series of events envisioned by students and planned collaboratively with faculty members and administrators.
Favorite events this year included: the annual student-Jesuit volleyball game; a Jesuit Iconography Tour with Professor John Glavin (C’64); a service project with children in the pediatric unit at Georgetown hospital; and visits to the Jesuit Residence.
We also welcomed Ron Hansen, author of Exiles and Paul Elie, Senior Editor at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux to campus to discuss Exiles, Hansen’s novel on Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and his writing of “The Wreck of the Deutschland.” It was wonderful to welcome both Paul and Ron back to campus to discuss this work and to launch a new series of conversations on “Catholicism and Culture.”
Paul will be interviewing distinguished women and men of letters whose work is inextricably linked with their faith.
We welcomed Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina for a lecture on “Interreligious Dialogue and Co-existence in post-war Sarajevo.” Cardinal Puljic has been recognized by Pope John Paul II for his leadership during the crisis in the Balkans in the early 1990s.
Cardinal Puljic spoke about his work with religious and government leaders in Bosnia to form an interreligious council for the promotion of peace.
• “World at Risk: The Report of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism” was hosted by the SFS, featuring Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent and Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government.
• “Lifting the Iron Curtain: Twenty Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall,” the 13th Annual Graduate Student Conference was hosted by the BMW Center for German and European Studies and the SFS, featuring a keynote address from Ambassador Robert Kupiecki of Poland.
• Georgetown welcomed the Center for Inter-faith Action on Global Poverty for a Leadership Consultation on enhancing faith community impact against malaria. The Consultation was co-sponsored by the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, andWorld Affairs.
• “Supporting Girls’ Education in Afghanistan,” was hosted by the Georgetown Human Rights Forum, together with the Institute for the Study of International Migration and the Advocacy Project and featured Sadiqa Basiri, Founder of the Oruj Learning Center in Kabul.
• The Institute for the Study of International Migration hosted a panel on “Temporary Workers and Innovation, or H-1Bs and the Supply Side of Ethnic Invention.”
• In January we paired with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to host the seventh annual “Let Freedom Ring!” celebration at the Kennedy Center. This event kicked off the weeklong commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy here at Georgetown.
For the past seven years, the University has celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the Kennedy Center concert and the presentation of the John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award. Aretha Franklin was the special guest performer at the concert, and Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, was this year’s award recipient.
• Other events during Martin Luther King, Jr. Week included a spiritual service with Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock in Dahlgren Chapel and student, faculty, and staff reflections on Dr. King’s Legacy featuring Ms. Brenda Atkinson-Willoughby, Director of Government and Community Relations here at Georgetown.
• The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, the Lannan Center for Poetics, and Students for Justice in Palestine presented “A Commemoration of the Life and Poetry of Mahmoud Darwish,” with a lecture by Dr. Ibrahim Muhawi, of the University of Oregon. Professor of Arabic Dr. Tamim Al-Barghouti and Professor of English Carolyn Forché delivered poetry readings.
• The Woodstock Theological Center hosted the inaugural event of a year-long celebration marking the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, titled “Evolution and God: Darwin and Theology 150 Years after The Origin of Species.”
Broader Higher Education Context
At the end of January I traveled to the Ateneo de Manila to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the University and join a conference on “Universities at the Frontiers of Change.” I had the honor of delivering the keynote address. While in Manila, I also had the pleasure of attending an alumni event hosted by the Manila branch of the alumni association. It was a pleasure to be together with so many members of our community in Manila.
I attended the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. At the Forum’s Religious Leaders Dinner, I gave a summary of the work accomplished and issues discussed by the Global Agenda Council on Faith (which I chair) when we met in Dubai last November. I also joined Dean Aleinikoff of the Law Center and former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik on a panel regarding international migration and multiple identities.
Also in January, I had the opportunity to attend the annual Washingtonian of the Year Luncheon. It was terrific to join the 11 other awardees and to learn more about their inspiring work. In my remarks, I spoke about how this honor recognizes the role Georgetown seeks to play in the Washington community. Our location gives us a great opportunity, but also a great responsibility, and it was truly an honor to accept the award on behalf of the Georgetown community in celebration of our service to Washington.
In February, Georgetown University, along with the Forum for the Future of Higher Education and the Brookings Institute, hosted a meeting of 60 colleges and universities to discuss the current economic situation and the effects it will have on colleges and universities. Tom Healey of our Board of Directors was a featured speaker at the event.
It has been an especially exciting time in Washington, and we have been honored to host a number of leaders, activists, and intellectuals here at Georgetown.
• United States Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff on the aftermath of September 11, changes in security policy and challenges that still face the country
• Crystia Freeland, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Roger Altman, William Gale and Dean George Daly on the global economic crisis
• The Honorable Patrick Leahy (L‘64), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary: “Restoring Trust in the Justice System: The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Agenda in the 111th Congress”
• Anthony Arend (C’80), Director of the MSFS program, convened a panel to observe the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; also serving on the panel were Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA; Andres Levin, a Grammy-nominated music producer; and political activist Rebiya Kadeer
• New York Times columnist David Brooks and Professor E.J. Dionne, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and columnist for the Washington Post on the lasting impact of Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism on American political and theological ideas
I hope that this update provides you with a sense of the wide range of remarkable activity taking place at Georgetown. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work with all of you to help maintain and strengthen the University and our community. Thank you for your commitment, generosity, and engagement.