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Notable Happenings from The Office of the President


Dr. DeGioia Welcomes Ambassador Rao

Ambassador Rao addressed the importance of partnerships in higher education during her remarks

SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 –LAST NIGHT IN A FULL GASTON HALL,members of the Georgetown University community joined Dr. DeGioia in welcoming the Ambassador of India to the U.S., Her Excellency, Nirupama Menon Rao, to the Hilltop to deliver a lecture on U.S.-India collaboration. Prior to her new appointment, Ambassador Rao served in India’s foreign service in several countries including Sri Lanka and China and also acted as India’s Foreign Secretary.

She was appointed Ambassador to the U.S. in July, officially beginning her service here in Washington earlier this month.

In his remarks, Dr. DeGioia spoke of Georgetown's work in creating stronger ties in India, saying, “We have begun here at Georgetown to deepen our engagement with leading organizations, educational institutions, and government ministries in India, which share our own commitment to excellence and work in service of the betterment of our world.”

The lecture was followed by a private dinner reception held in Riggs Library attended by faculty leaders, members of the U.S. State Department, and delegates from the Indian Embassy.

To read more about the Ambassador's visit, click here.


Dr. DeGioia Greets Rep. Henry Cuellar

Dr. DeGioia greets Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)


Of the Georgetown alumni serving on Capitol Hill, those in attendance last night included Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL), Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) , Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI).

Men and Women for Others

Dr. DeGioia was present to greet Georgetown's Capitol Hill alumni. In his remarks, he spoke of the university’s mission to teach students to become men and women for others, and quoted Fr. Pedro Arrupe, who said that we must have, “a firm resolve to be agents of change in society; not merely resisting unjust structures and arrangements, but actively undertaking to reform them.”  

Dr. DeGioia thanked the Senators and Representatives and other public servants for their work and all that they do to live out Georgetown’s mission of service.

Georgetown University and Public Service

Georgetown’s location in Washington, DC has led to a deep connection with public service from the start.  Bishop John Carroll founded the university in the earliest days of the Republic and saw it as a place where students would not only serve God, but also their nation.

This value was demonstrated by Georgetown’s very first student, William Gaston, who served as a Congressman from North Carolina. He authored the legislation granting Georgetown its federal charter, and since his service began in 1813, nearly 160 Georgetown alumni have followed him into Congress. 


Dr. DeGioia receives an honorary degree

Dr. DeGioia is presented his Honorary Degree from the leaders of Sacred Heart University

SEPTEMBER 20– SACRED HEART UNIVERSITY, IN FAIRFIELD, CONNECTICUT, recently honored Dr. DeGioia with an honorary degree at an academic convocation for his work in furthering excellence in Catholic higher education and social justice.

Sacred Heart University Pres Dr. John J. Petillo conferred the honorary degree upon Dr. DeGioia and said of him that, “Georgetown provided you as a student with richness of the rigorous Catholic liberal arts education, you have in past years returned that gift by ensuring that the quality of the liberal arts endures.

Dr. Petillo continued that Georgetown, “students continue understand their role historically, socially, and spiritually in the global community.” 

The Role of Catholic Universities

Dr. DeGioia spoke to Sacred Heart faculty, administrators, and community members about the unique opportunities that are part of Catholic education today. He said that, “this moment demands the very best of us.” 

Explaining these opportunities, Dr. DeGioia spoke of the effects of globalization, interfaith understanding and Catholic philosophy. He concluded by saying that today’s challenges are also opportunities – that they are, “…opportunities to embrace our tradition, in its multiple parts—from Catholic social thought, to what may be a new engagement of the sacred and the secular, to the opening that has emerged for a deeper Catholic intellectual engagement.”

Sacred Heart’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit

The convocation took place in SHU’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit, which features mosaic artwork by Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, SJ. Father Rupnik is a world-famous artist, who in 1999 was entrusted by Pope John Paul II along with the Centro Alletti workshop, renovated the mosaics at Redemptoris Mater, a chapel in the Vatican.


Students of all faiths gather to mark 9.11  Students of all faiths gathered to remember the tragedy of 9/11 during an interfaith prayer service

SEPTEMBER 12, 2011 –THE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY GATHERED LAST WEEK to remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and to honor those who died. 

At an interfaith prayer vigil in Gaston Hall, students from several faith traditions shared songs, prayers and reflections. Students also read the names of the two-dozen Georgetown community members who died that day as well as the names of friends and family.

The University held an interfaith prayer vigil shortly following the attacks in 2001 and has held one every year since so that students, faculty and staff, and members of the broader community can come together, engage in dialogue, and reflect on the importance of understanding and respecting difference. This event and the commitment to annually convening it is part of the Georgetown tradition of expanding interreligious understanding.

Honoring a Hoya

The football team also gathered to honor the life and spirit of Joe Eacobacci (MSB ‘96). While here at Georgetown University, he was the football team’s captain. 

Joe died in the World Trade Center on September 11. Instead of retiring his jersey -- #35 – each year, one team member wears the number and is awarded the honor because of his character and dedication to both the Georgetown community and the football team.

The football team, coaches, family and friends of Joe Eacobacci, and Dr. DeGioia celebrated Joe’s memory and honored the #35 tradition with a dinner celebrating the spirit of Georgetown football.

As Dr. DeGioia said in his remarks, "We are here tonight to remember the day that has had such a profound impact on our lives and remember the life and contributions of one of our own...and the continuing impact his spirit has on our community."

To read more about Georgetown's remembrance, click here.


Dr. DeGioia and the Senior Class Committee

Dr. DeGioia visited with the Senior Class Committee during the annual SAC Fair

SEPTEMBER 8, 2011 – WITH THE GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY settling into a new academic year, students, faculty and staff have all begun to contribute to the flurry of activity that accompanies the first weeks back on the Hilltop.  Here is a small selection of events in which Dr. DeGioia also has taken part.

Student Activities Commission Fair

Last Sunday afternoon, students representing a diverse array of activities and groups led the annual SAC fair. This event allows new students the chance to speak with representatives of campus groups and to learn how to get involved. Dr. DeGioia had the opportunity to attend the fair and to learn more about what's in store in the upcoming semester.

Welcoming a New Dean

Dr. DeGioia helped welcome Dr. Martin Iguchi, the new Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Studies, to the campus community with a dinner in Riggs Library. Dr. Iguchi joins Georgetown from the University of California Los Angeles where we served as Chair of UCLA’s School of Public Health’s Community Health Sciences Department. His work has been at the forefront of community health and behavioral science, and his main fields of study have intersected research, policy, and intervention programs.

Alta Gracia and ‘Men and Women for Others’

Integral to our University’s mission is the call to live as “women and men for others.” This was seen during Welcome Week, as the Alta Gracia project, which ensures a living wage for employees of the factories that manufacture clothing sold at universities, was recognized on campus. Georgetown has been a committed partner in the Alta Gracia project, and members of the community came together to recognize the work of those who have enabled the partnership to flourish.  Dr. DeGioia has the opportunity to welcome two workers employed by Alta Gracia factory in the Dominican Republican as well as Knights Apparel CEO, Joe Bozich.

"From Conflict to Peace: Innovative Approaches to Peacebuilding" 

As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Georgetown has been committed to developing additional strengths in conflict resolution and peacebuilding.  As part of these efforts, the University is holding a two-day conference on conflict resolution with world ambassadors and former U.S. Senator and Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. The university’s motto – “untraque unum” or “both into one” – is most often thought of to mean the pairing of faith and reason. These words also drive the act of peace building, as it is about the ability and capacity to manage difference and to bring together oppositional, and sometimes conflicting, concepts. 


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