Category: Student Experience, University News

Title: With Some Pomp and Circumstance, the Class of 2027 Are Officially Hoyas

On an unusually cool Saturday in August, President John J. DeGioia stood before more than 1,600 new students and asked them to pause. In the quiet, the Healy bells tolled. 

“Let us savor this moment,” he said. “Your first moment of being together as a class. Your first formal experience as members of this academic community. This is a time of great beginnings.”

After two days of unpacking and hellos and goodbyes, the Class of 2027 had just donned their bachelor’s gowns — the same gowns they’ll later wear to their graduation — to signify the start of their academic journeys and official entrance into the Georgetown community. Behind them, parents, loved ones and alumni looked on.

“All of us are part of a community of care,” DeGioia said. “It is an honor for us to share this moment with you. Welcome to Georgetown.”

Georgetown’s newest students gathered together for the first time at New Student Convocation, an annual rite of passage that welcomes first-year and transfer students to the Hilltop. They were joined on Copley Lawn by many of their families, faculty, staff and alumni to celebrate their start on the Hilltop.

Your Place in Georgetown’s History

Georgetown’s Class of 2027 hails from all over the world, representing 46 countries and 50 states.

The new students — who also represent transfer students, students studying abroad from Georgetown University in Qatar and first-generation college students — processed into a tent on Copley Lawn on Saturday, Aug. 19. They faced the stone entryway to White-Gravenor Hall, which is carved with symbols of academic subjects and Jesuit educators, and a statue of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits.

In his speech, Provost Robert M. Groves welcomed new students to Georgetown’s intellectual community and underscored the nearly 500-year-old Jesuit tradition that undergirds their education and the shared goal to help students find their authentic selves.

“You are joining what we see as a vibrant knowledge community, but you’re also joining a historic tradition of hundreds of years,” he said. “It’s a community that, you will see, cares deeply about you as a whole person.”

Harnessing Those Stomach Butterflies

Naomi Greenberg (C’24) wears a black gown and stands before students at convocation during her speech.
Naomi Greenberg (C’24) addressed students at Convocation as the recipient of the Thomas P. McTighe Prize.

Naomi Greenberg (C’24), a senior and biology researcher, was chosen to address the opening Convocation as the recipient of the Thomas P. McTighe Prize. Greenberg offered advice to help new students harness any fears or worries they might have and make the most of Georgetown. 

She said when she was in their shoes three years ago, she asked herself: “Am I meant to be here? Will I be happy here? What do I want to study? And can I do this?” She suggested that students reframe these questions. 

“Instead, I hope you will ask yourselves, ‘Who am I meant to be here? Where or when will I be happy? How do I want to study? And how can I do this?’”

Reena Aggarwal, Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance, speaks students at convocation. She smiles, wearing black academic robes, behind a podium.
Reena Aggarwal, Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance who has served at Georgetown for 37 years, addressed students on behalf of university faculty.

On behalf of the faculty, Reena Aggarwal, Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance and director of the Psaros Center for Financial Markets and Policy, emphasized the support and mentorship faculty offer and urged students to connect with faculty and prioritize their well-being. 

“I like to say that Georgetown has a soul. It has a value system. It genuinely cares about people,” she said. “Each member of our faculty is deeply committed to your education and takes this responsibility very seriously. For Georgetown faculty, our connection does not begin and end with you in the classroom.”

“Georgetown will transform you in ways you cannot yet imagine.”

Reena Aggarwal, Robert E. McDonough Professor of Finance

Next Steps on the Hilltop

This week, students will engage in the last few New Student Orientation (NSO) activities before closing with the Mass of the Holy Spirit on Aug. 22, the day before the first day of school.

Sitting under the tent on Copley Lawn, Bernardo Little, Jr. (C’27) said that the ceremony made his new chapter on the Hilltop feel real.

“It officially allowed me to realize that I am a Georgetown student,” he said. “Right in front of Healy, I finally get to take it all in. The moment I’ve been waiting my entire life is right now. And this is when the time counts.”

In his closing remarks, Groves gave students parting advice for their next four years. 

“Use these years to prepare for a lifetime not a graduation,” he said. “Learn content but also learn how to learn. Get to know people different from yourself, and, most importantly, seek to identify your own authentic self, your own way to make this a better world.

“There’s lots of work to be done, but I can tell you it’s joyful work. I welcome you to your new home.”