Georgetown to Graduate Thousands of Students This Weekend
May 17, 2012 – More than 5,000 undergraduates and graduate school students will begin their lives as Georgetown University alumni during 2012 Commencement Weekend, May 17-20.
Nine commencement ceremonies are slated for the weekend as well as student award events.
“Commencement weekend is always a very special time for our community,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia.” "It gives us the opportunity to come together to celebrate the contributions and achievements of our students, to welcome our parents and families, and to reflect on our university's mission and the values we share as members of the Georgetown family."
“Our nation needs the extraordinary young women and men who will graduate this weekend,” he adds. “Our world needs them. We need their passions and their dreams, their talents and their capacity to create meaningful change. This weekend, we celebrate the impact they already have made, and their aspirations for the future.”
Treme de la Treme
A wide range of individuals are scheduled to speak during the weekend, including neuroscientists, human rights activists and CEOS.
The CEO of LivingSocial, for example, Tim O’Shaughnessy (B’04), will speak at the McDonough School of Business graduation ceremony, while former FBI director Louis Freeh will speak at the ROTC commissioning ceremony.
A number of speakers will also receive honorary degrees during the weekend, including Ela R. Bhatt, who has defended the rights of poor and marginal women in India for over 60 years, and “The Wire” and “Treme” creator David Simon.
This year’s weekend begins with senior convocation on Thursday, May 17, and ends with the Law Center commencement on Sunday afternoon.
Though Georgetown was founded in 1789, the very first commencement took place in 1817, shortly after the university got its charter.
Two brothers – Charles and George Dinnies of New York – graduated in 1817, followed by about 18 students in 1875 and 502 in 1925. By 1950, commencement included 1,076 students.
Some highlights of the distant past include the 1820 commencement, to which three “Indian chiefs” were invited, with one of them addressing the audience, and the 1849 commencement in which Jesuit astronomer Angelo Secchi demonstrated an electrical battery that he used to magnetize a 100-lb bar to hold up a 1,600-lb. weight.
In more recent years, speakers have ranged from Mother Teresa in 1982 to Ted Koppel in 1985, then-secretary-general of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali in 1994 to filmmaker Ken Burns in 2006.