About 40 Jesuits, faculty, students and staff gathered to wish Fr. Philip Boroughs, S.J., a warm farewell as he leaves Georgetown after eight years of service. The celebration was held Thursday in Copley Formal Lounge.

In his parting speech, Boroughs spoke of his time with the Georgetown community working to engage in service to the world and promotion of Jesuit values.

“All that I’ve received here will be invaluable to me,” Boroughs said. “I am so grateful for the ways I’ve seen faith grow here through ministry programs and retreats and am truly privileged and honored to be a part of this community.”

After serving since 2003 as Georgetown’s first vice president for mission and ministry and the liaison for the Georgetown Liturgy Center and the Woodstock Theological Center, Boroughs is leaving to take on the role of president of the College of the Holy Cross.

His tenure saw a marked increase in social justice and service to the community. Through his capacity as Vice President for Mission and Ministry, he introduced the Ignatius Tradition Seminar, the Kenya Immersion Program and Jesuit Heritage Week, among other initiatives. In addition, he was actively involved with the Center for Social Justice and student service programs.

University President John J. DeGioia lauded Boroughs’ mentioning some behind-the-scenes touches for which Boroughs was responsible, such as the banners that Georgetown hangs during freshman orientation.

DeGioia emphasized his gratefulness “for what [Boroughs] enabled us to become as a university” and also thanked him for his help in accelerating Georgetown’s humanitarian response to the crises in Haiti and Japan.

As an official token of gratitude, Father Boroughs received a 1925 framed photograph of the first blessing of newly ordained Jesuits outside of Dahlgren Chapel.

Executive Director of Campus Ministry Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., expressed his regard for his fellow Jesuit.

“I will miss his passion for Jesuit education and distinctive care for faculty and students,” he said.

President of the Georgetown University Student Association Mike Meaney (SFS ’12) got to know Boroughs through his participation in a working group designed to expand the CSJ’s national and global impact.

“I remember walking away thinking he knew exactly how to ensure that Georgetown was fulfilling its commitment to providing a top-notch Jesuit education and how open he was to hearing and integrating student perspective,” Meaney said.

One feature of Boroughs, however, has not been so distinctive: Boroughs is famous for having a striking resemblance to his good friend and colleague ,University Provost James O’Donnell.

“For eight years, many people at Georgetown had trouble telling us apart. One of us is going to be President of the College of the Holy Cross; the other one is going to miss him,” O’Donnell said.

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