Today marks the second-annual Georgetown Traditions Day, founded to “Celebrate Our Hilltop’s History.” As one of the newest additions to our 214-year-old history, the day seeks to expose the Georgetown community to the rich elements of identity and tradition of which it may not otherwise be aware. For instance, did you know that President Eisenhower held his Inaugural Ball in cDonough Gymnasium in January of 1953? Or that the football team competed in the 1941 Orange Bowl against Mississippi State?

In conjunction with the creation of the 2003 Traditions Calendar, Traditions Day originated as a project of the FRIENDS Initiative as one part of our efforts to foster a more vibrant and inclusive campus community and to reduce alcohol abuse. Traditions Day is designed to spark a sense of pride in Georgetown, which in turn can help students feel at home on campus and foster even greater respect among all members of our campus community. We believe that Georgetown can rely upon its history and traditions to stimulate the student body’s interest in learning what it truly means to be a Hoya.

Building on last year’s inaugural event, the 2003 Traditions Day Committee has designed a program centered on maintaining the beloved favorites of last year while simultaneously developing creative additions. Today, all members of the campus community are invited to take part in the numerous events that we have organized. Some returning events include Professor John Glavin’s (CAS ’64) Iconography Tour, which explains campus landmarks in detail; the Sacred Spaces Tour, which highlights spiritual locations around campus; and an open house at Riggs Library. We have reached out to a number of campus groups, departments and schools asking them to celebrate their own particular traditions, which will be displayed on Copley Lawn for the afternoon. And of course there will be the triumphant return of the President’s Cup, a jeopardy-style trivia contest, with the new addition of faculty participants including Professor William Daddio on the College team and Professor Anthony Arend (SFS ’80) as the event’s emcee.

Several new events have been added to the lineup as well. Professor Ron Johnson will guide students on a tour entitled “Beyond the Gates,” in order to incorporate our surrounding community in the day’s festivities. During dinner, we are pleased to debut the first “Georgetown Theme Night” dinner in Leo’s dining hall, starring a student-selected menu of cafeteria favorites.

Over the summer, a great deal of energy was spent revising last year’s very successful Georgetown Traditions calendar. Changes included increasing its size making it more user-friendly and readable. The final product is a 15-by-15″ full color wall calendar packed with some of the photos, faces and stories that have shaped the Hilltop’s storied history.

The Traditions Day committee has secured a generous donation from Georgetown alum Charlie Trunz (GSB ’75) in order to accomplish our goal of distributing calendars free for all freshmen and transfers. The Provost’s office also made a substantial donation for the purpose of subsidizing purchases made by full-time faculty. The rest of the campus community will be able to purchase a calendar for $12 beginning on Traditions Day and continuing the semester. To make purchasing more convenient we will be unveiling online shopping through our Web site:

Whether or not you purchase a calendar through our Web site, we encourage you to visit to learn more about Traditions Day. Not only will you be able to find a full schedule of events, but you can read interviews with well-known faculty and administrators as they are put through a grueling set of questions to determine what “madness” they prefer: chicken, burger or midnight.

As you cross campus today be sure to stop at the barbecue to pick up a free stadium cup and a handful of our 70 pounds of blue and gray M&M’s on Copley Lawn. As traditions go, free stuff is the most adored. Also take a moment to read the many posters displayed throughout campus highlighting the Healy building, the Front Gates and other historical spots.

Most importantly, think about those students and faculty who have walked through Red Square before you and those who will walk through Red Square long after you are gone – sons, daughters and friends. We all do our part to shape and uphold traditions of the past to ensure a vibrant campus community for those who will follow us through Georgetown’s gates.

We hope that when you fall asleep tonight that you’ll truly believe that “Tradition Never Graduates” and will do your best to celebrate it for the remainder of your lives.

We are all a part of Georgetown’s history, and will be so for eternity.

John Antonelli is a senior in the McDonough School of Business. Victoria Otarola is a junior in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Both serve as Traditions Day Coordinators and are members of the FRIENDS Leadership Team.

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