Healey Family Gives Major Gift to Georgetown for New Student Center
February 20, 2013 – A prominent Georgetown alumni family has given a significant lead gift to the university for the creation of a vibrant and spacious new student center in New South residence hall, which is expected to open by fall 2014.
The new facility, to be named the Healey Family Student Center, will add more than 44,000 square feet of student-centered space to the Georgetown University campus. Plans call for a “great room” with a central hearth and sweeping Potomac views, a café, meeting rooms for clubs or group study, dance studios, a pub, a large social room for events and a dramatic south terrace overlooking Prospect Street and the river.
“The Healey Family Student Center is a critical component of Georgetown’s efforts to become a more fully student-centered, living and learning campus. By transforming this extraordinary space into a place where our students can study, collaborate, and gather outside of the classroom, we are moving closer toward that vision. We're deeply grateful to the Healey family for their generosity and for their continued support of our Georgetown community,” said President John J. DeGioia.
Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the new center was designed with significant student input. “The new space will be a three- to five-minute walk for about 4,000 students, and we envision it being a lively place from morning until night. It was designed to address what students said they thought were the most pressing needs on campus – more social space, more study place, more eating options.”
The new student center will occupy space that held the campus dining room before it was replaced by Leo J. O’Donovan Hall. New South, a residence hall for first-year students, opened in 1959.
“I went to Georgetown when New South was still new, and I remember that as the center of campus,” said Thomas J. Healey (C’64), a former member of the Georgetown University Board of Directors and Board of Regents. “We’re thrilled to see a powerful new use of this valuable real estate once again.”
The new student center is being billed as a new student “living room.” It will supplement, not replace, the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center, providing much-needed resources to the southern end of campus, where many more students now live, thanks to the completion of the Southwest Quad in 2003.
“Walking around campus, you see a need for a space for students to be together that’s not a dorm, not a dining hall, not a pass-through to somewhere else,” said Healey’s son, Jeremy (C’95), who also knew the former space during his time at Georgetown. Jeremy Healey met his wife, Megan (C’95), during his time on the Hilltop.
The Healey Family Student Center is expected to cost $21 million. To date, $10.7 million has been raised for the project in the university’s capital campaign, For Generations to Come. In addition, Georgetown students have committed $2 million after a 2012 student body vote overwhelmingly approved the allocation of funds from the Student Activities Fee Endowment to construct a south terrace and other improvements. These features were not part of the original architectural plans but are incremental additions to the project.
The architect for the project is the New Jersey-based firm ikon.5, which specializes in university buildings. Construction is scheduled to start this summer. Plans call for energy-efficient features, such as a plant-filled “green wall” and a rain garden, that would qualify the building for gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status.
The Healey Family Foundation is involved in a range of educational philanthropy. Past focuses have included Georgetown efforts such as Lauinger Library and an endowed professorship, as well as work with a number of other institutions spearheaded by Tom’s wife, Meg, daughter, Megan, and son-in-law, John Hagerty.