News & Events
Notable Happenings from The Office of the President
Georgetown Collaborates with Hoya Alum on 9/11 Film Tribute and Center
September 30, 2010– Georgetown welcomed filmmaker and Hoya alum, Jim Whitaker (C’90), back to campus this evening to continue the collaborative and community-building efforts surrounding his upcoming film, Rebirth.
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, Project Rebirth began chronicling the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site and following the journeys of nine people coping with its aftermath. Since then, Mr. Whitaker has conducted annual interviews with each of these people in the hopes that, by telling their stories, he can help audiences to understand and appreciate how people cope with trauma and disaster. The resulting feature-length documentary, Rebirth, directed by Mr. Whitaker, honors New York’s response to 9/11, the strength and diversity of NYC’s community, and the common bonds of loss experienced by all victims of major disasters. It will premiere in 2011.
Georgetown has collaborated closely with Mr. Whitaker and Project Rebirth since the beginning, with support from multiple facets of the University. The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs helps lead Georgetown’s partnership with Project Rebirth, with additional educational initiatives emerging from Georgetown’s Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS) – in collaboration with Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) – and Georgetown’s Program in Film and Media Studies. The Project Rebirth Center currently is being developed jointly by Georgetown and Columbia, and will meet an urgent need to improve the specialized training, care and support required during and after major disasters.
As Dr. DeGioia summarized, “At the heart of Project Rebirth are the same ideals that inspire all of us as members of the Georgetown community: our mission to unite reflection and action, to live in service to others, to care for the whole person, and to promote intercultural understanding. The dedicated group of alumni, faculty, and staff who have come together to devote their time and talents to these efforts speaks to the strength of those connections. I expect the partnership between Project Rebirth and Georgetown to be strong and meaningful for some time to come.”
Hoyas Come Home to the Hilltop
September 27, 2010– Over 5,000 Hoyas headed back to the Hilltop over the weekend to join in Homecoming festivities and watch Georgetown football (3-1) triumph over Holy Cross.
Here’s to the great weekend and the Hoyas’ winning spirit.
Georgetown Commemorates the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman
September 23, 2010– Dr. DeGioia welcomed Fr. Michael Paul Gallagher, SJ to Riggs Library today to commemorate the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman with a lecture entitled, “Translating Cardinal Newman Today: Issues of Faith and Culture.” Other honored guests at the lecture included Archbishop Donald Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, DC, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and Fr. John O’Malley, S.J., a leading scholar among Georgetown’s community and the respondent to Rev. Gallagher’s remarks
Fr. Gallagher is a Professor of Fundamental Theology at the Gregorian University and author of Faith Maps: Ten Religious Explorers from Newman to Joseph Ratzinger. He is a leading thinker in the areas of faith and unbelief, culture and spirituality.
Fr. Gallagher’s lecture focused on Cardinal Newman’s lifelong navigation of tensions between faith and culture, beginning with Newman’s education and character-forming experiences at the University of Oxford and building towards his theories of the vital interconnectedness of conscience, revelation and the church, and imagination, reason and the heart. It is through this dynamic harmony – not unlike the “utraque unum” or “both into one” that serves as Georgetown’s motto – that we are able to live out the fullest and most truthful versions of ourselves.
Fr. Gallagher’s remarks were followed by a response from Georgetown scholar, Fr. John O’Malley, SJ, who helped place Cardinal Newman’s significance in an historical and theological context. Fr. O’Malley, the author of What Happened at Vatican II, Four Cultures of the West, and The First Jesuits, brought to light the important “journey of the heart” that characterized Cardinal Newman’s scholarship and life’s work, a concept that continues to play a vital role in our own Georgetown community.
A Busy Week for the Hoyas on Capitol Hill
September 22, 2010– It has been a busy week for Georgetown on Capitol Hill, culminating in the University's annual Capitol Hill reception at the Capitol Visitor Center this evening.
The reception welcomed Hoyas serving on the Hill to greet classmates and senior leaders of the University. The group benefitted from jovial remarks offered by several alums acting as current members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer (D-MD, L’66), and Representatives Mike Castle (R-DE, L’64) Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE, G’86), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD, C’93, L’97, G’98), Mazie Hirono (D-HI, L’78), Glenn Nye (D-VA, SFS’96) and Steve Rothman (D-NJ). Also attending was Mrs. Debbie Dingell (SFS’75, G’98) Georgetown alum and wife of Congressman John Dingell (D-MI, C’49, L’52).
As Dr. DeGioia summarized in his own remarks, while thanking fellow Hoyas for attending the gathering, “Each of you plays a substantial and critical role in leading the discussion on some of the most important issues of today. Each of you strives to offer capable and compassionate leadership. Each of you makes a daily commitment, and all of you deserve our highest praise for living out our best traditions of excellence and service.”
The DREAM Act
One of the most crucial issues as related to higher education is passage of the DREAM Act. The DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act is a bipartisan legislation ‒ spearheaded by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] and Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL] ‒ that would make qualifying undocumented youth eligible for a 6 year long conditional path to citizenship that requires completion of a college degree or two years of military service.
Dr. DeGioia has supported this legislation from the start and yesterday participated in a press call with Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, President of Arizona State University, Michael Crow, and Chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College and Chair-Elect of the American Association of Community Colleges, Myrtle Dorsey, to reiterate the Act’s importance. Echoing similar sentiments from his peers, Dr. DeGioia commented, “These are young people who aren’t here by their own choice. They have played by our rules. They have succeeded by our rules. For everything we stand for as a people….for the deepest values we stand for…they should be able to continue their development in this country.”
Read more about the University’s take on the DREAM Act and other important pieces of legislation on our Federal Relations Website.
Georgetown Hosts U.S.-Brazil Summit on Innovation
September 20, 2010– Over 450 leaders representing some of the most innovative private and public sector organizations in Brazil and the U.S. gathered on Leavey Esplanade this evening to kick off the U.S.-Brazil Summit on Innovation.
The two-day Summit, organized by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, Movimento Brasil Competitivo and Agência Brasileira de Desenvolvimento Industrial and hosted by Georgetown University, gathered the top industrial, academic and public sector leaders from the U.S. and Brazil to address the most pressing challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Sessions tackled key issues including, meeting the world’s growing energy and water needs; building the “smart” infrastructure and cities of the future, and creating a shared vision for a robust, adaptive manufacturing ecosystem, among other topics.
In his keynote remarks, Dr. DeGioia detailed the close relationship between Georgetown and Brazil over the University’s history, from the day 182 years ago when John Lisboa, our first student from Brazil, stepped foot on Georgetown’s campus, to the present time, where Georgetown’s Global Competitiveness Leadership Program hosts young leaders – ages 24 to 34 – from Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula for twelve weeks of training in overcoming challenges, public policy, and leadership in action. He also urged leaders from both countries to engage deeply and honestly throughout the Summit, keeping an urgent common goal shared by all innovators at the forefront of every dialogue: the vital importance increased human development for all people. Read Dr. DeGioia’s full remarks here.
The Summit reinforced Georgetown’s drive to engage with our peers on a global level and to strive towards innovative partnerships and groundbreaking possibilities in all that we do. Learn more about the Summit here.
Georgetown Welcomes Professor Nicholas Boyle Back to the Hilltop
September 16, 2010– Georgetown welcomed Professor Nicholas Boyle back to the Hilltop today to speak about his new book, 2014: How to Survive the Next World Crisis.
Professor Boyle is a distinguished historian and scholar of German literature and thought of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. He currently serves as the Schröder Professor of German and is President of the Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge, where his research engages European literature, philosophy, theology, politics, and contemporary society.
As Dr. DeGioia summarized in his welcoming remarks, “2014: How to Survive the Next World Crisis examines the historical and contemporary conditions of globalization and provides a framework for responding to future challenges. Looking at the long-term history of globalization, this book began as an examination of the crisis that shook our world financial system in 2007.”
Professor Boyle last came to Georgetown in 2004 when he spoke about his book, Who Are We Now? and the role of universities in creating and critiquing culture. For his academic distinction and important observations about globalization and Christian humanism, Professor Boyle was awarded Georgetown’s highest honor, an Honorary Degree, at our Faculty Convocation that fall.
It was a pleasure to welcome Professor Boyle back to campus.
A Week of Interreligious Celebration and Remembrance
September 10 -- Georgetown’s spirit of love, understanding, acceptance, compassion and respect shone bright this week, during a time of religious celebration and solemn remembrance.
On Tuesday evening, Dr. DeGioia marked the Holy Month of Ramadan with members of our Muslim Student Association during an Iftar dinner. In his remarks, Dr. DeGioia spoke of the many blessings revealed during this sacred month, while challenging our students to develop the skill, knowledge and courage to foster greater peace in our world.
The theme of proactive engagement with interreligious challenges continued on Wednesday evening, as the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah began. While joining our Jewish students and families at Temple services in Gaston Hall, Dr. DeGioia spoke of service, remembrance and renewal, urging us to recommit to being our best selves, and bringing out the best we can in others. This, he remarked, is our tradition here on the Hilltop, and one we are called to live out in our daily lives.
At no point was this tradition felt more vibrantly than during our Interfaith Prayer Vigil today, which drew our community together to remember the tragic events of 9/11, 2001. During the Vigil, in which students from numerous faith traditions drew together to offer prayers of healing and peace, we remembered the spirit of engagement, endurance and understanding that has guided this community forward. We can never forget.