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Notable Happenings from The Office of the President


Secretary Clinton Visits Georgetown

Secretary Clinton addressed a full Gaston Hall to discuss the role of women in peacebuilding

December 20, 2011–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Gaston Hall yesterday to announce the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

That same morning, President Obama signed an executive order implementing the plan, which is a government-wide effort to advance and institutionalize women’s participation in securing and keeping peace.

Women and Peacemaking

Speaking to a full audience of students, faculty, staff, and distinguished guests including Georgetown alumna and Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, Secretary Clinton highlighted the role that women have played in ending conflict and making peace.

She mentioned the three recent Nobel Peace Prize winners, all women, two from Liberia and one from Yemen. She said, “From Northern Ireland to Liberia to Nepal and many places in between, we have seen that when women participate in peace processes, they focus discussion on issues like human rights, justice, national reconciliation, and economic renewal that are critical to making peace, but often are overlooked in formal negotiations.

She then discussed how the action plan will help change this dynamic by preventing conflict; protecting women and girls during and after conflict; expanding women’s participation in the peace process before, during and after conflict; and ensuring that relief efforts meet the needs of women and girls.

Clinton continued, “Excluding women means excluding the entire wealth of knowledge, experience, and talent we can offer.  So the United States will use the full weight of our diplomacy to push combatants and mediators to include women as equal partners in peace negotiations.”

Secretary Clinton’s Special Guest

Secretary Clinton was accompanied by Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga, who is the youngest leader of any country in the world and the first woman elected leader in the Balkans.

Clinton told the audience in Gaston Hall of Jahjaga’s experience as a student in the 1990s when her country was embroiled in conflict, later as a police officer in Kosovo, and of her decision to be part of the solution of keeping the peace.

A New Initiative at Georgetown

School of Foreign Service (SFS) Dean Carol Lancaster and Dr. DeGioia announced a new initiative on Women, Peace, Security and Development within SFS.

The initiative will bring together partners from across Georgetown and leverage the university’s strength in international affairs. Broadly, the initiative will focus on the impacts of conflict and humanitarian disasters on women and girls; the role of women as combatants; and the role of women in peace-making and post conflict recovery and reconstruction.

Speaking of the new initiative, Dr. DeGioia said, “Its primary purpose will be to contribute rigorous research to the wider dialogue on these issues.”

To read more about Secretary Clinton's visit, visit this link
Find the full text of her speech here.
Read more about the Georgetown initiative here.


The Advent Season

December 13, 2011–Members of the Georgetown University community gathered Sunday Dec. 11 for the annual Advent Mass. This Georgetown tradition includes a candlelight vigil and a celebration of the third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday.

The opening procession began on the steps of Dahlgren Chapel and proceeded into Gaston Hall where hundreds of students, faculty, and staff took part in the celebration. The timing of the Mass, immediately prior to the beginning of exams, is intended to provide a moment of reflection and peace in the midst of a very busy season.  The tradition originated with Fr. Thomas King, S.J., who said this Mass annually at 11:15pm, as he did each night in Dahlgren Chapel.  It has continued following his passing in June 2009.

Dr. DeGioia described the occasion as reflecting “a season for happiness, for celebration, for joy,” and as a reminder that, “We are seeking a synthesis between the insights that emerge through our intellectual engagement with those that emerge through our prayer and spiritual practices."

A reception in Riggs Library for all Mass attendees concluded the evening.


President, Holiday Party 20111

Members of the Holy Trinity School Choir sang Christmas carols

December 8, 2011–Members of the Georgetown University community welcomed friends and neighbors for an annual holiday celebration last night in Riggs Library. The Gospel Choir and the Holy Trinity School Choir serenaded the event’s guests with Christmas carols, adding a festive spirit to the evening.

Among the guest were community leaders including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilman Vincent Orange, ANC2E Commissioners Ed Solomon, Bill Starrels and Ron Lewis, and  Second District Commander, Michael Reese.

Both Dr. DeGioia and Mayor Gray offered remarks on the relationship between Georgetown University and the Washington, D.C. community. Dr. DeGioia said:

“Our neighborhood and our university are as intertwined today as they were over two centuries ago. We often talk of tradition on the Hilltop: the ways that our community is guided by our Catholic and Jesuit heritage, by our commitment to academic excellence and to service. But there is another important aspect of our tradition – and that is our deep gratitude, understanding, and respect for what it means to be a university in Washington, DC.”

To read more about the Community Holiday celebration, please visit this link.


Dr. DeGioia and Santa 2011

Santa and Dr. DeGioia greeted attendees at the Christmas Tree Lighting 

December 6, 2011–Members of the Georgetown University Communitygathered to mark the beginning of the holiday season Dec. 2 for the annual lighting of the University’s Christmas tree in the Dahlgren Quad.

Georgetown University singing groups entertained the crowd with Christmas Carols. The tree lighting was followed by the annual interpretation performance of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” by Mask and Bauble. Faculty, staff, and students enjoyed the rest of the evening with hot cocoa and snacks.

To read more about the Christmas Tree Lighting, please visit this link


President, Angel Book Drive

Students, faculty, and staff gathered to sort and label books 

December 1, 2011–Over the past weeks, members of the Georgetown Universitycommunity have ensured that children and young adults in the D.C. metro area will receive the gift of reading this holiday season through the Georgetown University Angel Book Drive. This annual initiative collects and distributes books to a number of local beneficiaries.  Last year, over 6,300 children’s books were donated.

Throughout November and continuing into part of December, books collected outside the Georgetown University Bookstore and outside the President’s office will be wrapped and delivered to children.

Beneficiaries from the book drive include CentroNia, Georgetown University Hospital, Perry School Community Service Center: Bright Beginnings, and St. Ann’s Infant and Maternity Home, among any others.

Mrs. Theresa Miller DeGioia, Honorary Chair of the Georgetown University Angel Book Drive project, has led the initiative since its inception nearly ten years ago.


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