Sun shining behind Healy Hall at sunset
Category: University News

Title: #YearinReview: Look Back at 10 of Georgetown’s Memorable Moments of 2021

Father Leo J. O'Donovan speaks at a podiium

1. Former Georgetown President Leo J. O’Donovan Offered the Invocation at the Biden-Harris Inauguration

Rev. Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. (C’56), a longtime friend of the Biden family who led the university between 1989 and 2001, offered the invocation at the January 20 inauguration ceremony for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, continuing a tradition of Jesuit involvement in Inauguration Day events.

2. Georgetown Launched a New Racial Justice Institute With Multidisciplinary Leadership

The Racial Justice Institute at Georgetown serves as a hub for scholars, activists and thought leaders to work across the academic, policy and advocacy spaces and seed and inspire the next generation of scholars and leaders addressing racial injustice and the well-being of Black, Indigenous and people of color.

3. Georgetown Coordinated a COVID-19 High-Capacity Vaccination Site in Partnership With the DC Government

Georgetown medical and nursing students, supported by dozens of undergraduate, faculty and staff volunteers, vaccinated more than 2,500 people in March and April at the Entertainment and Sports Arena, where the Washington Mystics play, in DC’s Ward 8.

4. Georgetown Added ‘Care for Our Common Home’ as a New Spirit of Georgetown Value, Highlighting the University’s Commitment to the Planet

As a part of its existing Spirit of Georgetown set of values, the Office of Mission & Ministry added “Care for Our Common Home,” a name inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical letter Laudato Si’, which calls on humanity to protect and care for the environment.

5. The Class of 2021 Reunited at Nationals Park for the Conferral of Degrees

Students in the Class of 2021 gathered in person to celebrate their commencement at Nationals Park in May, home to the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team.


Graphic with a headshot of Marcia Chatelain and the text

6. Georgetown Professor Marcia Chatelain Was Awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History 

During the 105th Pulitzer Prize ceremony, Marcia Chatelain, a professor in the Department of History and the Department of African American Studies, was chosen as this year’s winner in the history category for her book, “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America.” Chatelain is an expert in the fields of Black life and culture. In her book, she meticulously researches the ways in which fast-food franchises like McDonald’s became one of the greatest generators of Black wealth in America through first-hand accounts and government documents.


Capitol Building in the background of intersection five large Olympic rings

7. Six Georgetown Current and Former Student-Athletes Participated in the Summer Olympics 

Over the summer, we got to know the Hoyas participating in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. We also heard from Georgetown experts about Olympic sponsorships and superstitions and looked back to the archives for Georgetown’s presence at past Olympics.


Orientation Advisors cheer as a car drives through the front gates

8. The Georgetown Community Reunited on Campus for the 2021-22 Academic Year

This past year, we found new ways to stay connected, share ideas and make a difference. As Hoyas came home to the Hilltop, they shared their unique experiences, reanimated campus life and explored the nation’s capital. And perhaps the biggest lesson of all is that no matter the distance, our Hoya community is stronger together.

9. We Celebrated Seven BIG EAST Championships

The Hoyas emerged as BIG EAST champions in Men’s Basketball, Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Soccer and twice in Women’s Cross Country and Women’s Soccer, since their fall 2020 competitions were delayed to 2021.


Spirit of Georgetown sign with light blue seal and the text "Cura Personalis" in front of a statue of John Carroll and Healy Hall

10. During a Year Unlike Any Other, We Remembered Our Spirit of Georgetown Values

We’re navigating a new normal, together. While we each experience this new normal differently, we carry the same roadmap. Time-stamped. Five hundred years of fine-tuning. Georgetown’s values shape and mold us into the fullest version of ourselves, poised to make an impact for good wherever we are – on-campus, in our DC community, in the communities we hold dear, on the international stage.