Two hundred and thirteen years of history culminate today as Georgetown kicks off its first Traditions Day, uniting past with present in a celebration of the history, stories and people that constitute Georgetown lore. Georgetown’s first student William Gaston will meet the cell-phone toting Joe Hoya; a pre-Monica Bill Clinton (SFS ’68) will mingle with a pre-Knicks Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85); a scrappy terrier will pick a fight with a venerable bulldog.

“We are trying to show Georgetown students that, `Hey, this what our school used to be like,'” Tim O’Shaughnessy (MSB ’04), Traditions Day committee member, said. “We want students to take ownership of their campus.”

The idea behind Traditions Day was born just six weeks ago on the second floor of Lauinger Library. Inspired by the Traditions Calendar, which follows Georgetown history in pictures from its proposal in 1786 to its current state, the day, much like the calendar, intends to showcase the essence of Georgetown. Under the FRIENDS Initiative, led by Minto, O’Shaughnessy, Michelle iller (COL ’03), John Antonelli (MSB ’04) and Katie Boogard (COL ’04), the event has evolved from a mere proposal into a day of remembrance and merriment.

“We wanted to do something that would appeal to all undergraduates,” Minto says about the calendar. “It was supposed to be a way to welcome freshman into the community while showing them what kind of place they were entering. “

“We just extended the idea into a bigger thing – a day, ” Miller said.

Traditions Day begins at 10 a.m. with the unveiling of the Traditions Calendar. The calendar was researched, organized and designed by Scott Minto (SFS ’02). Collages of pictures and clippings track various decades of the 20th century, from the roaring ’20s to buttoned-down ’50s, the liberal ’60s to the punk-rock ’80s. A hodgepodge of Georgetown’s notable figures wraps up the month of December, tracking mascots from terrier to Boxer, Great Dane to Bulldog. Available for sale in Red Square, calendars will be sold to students for $12 and $17.89 to the public. The calendar was distributed to freshmen yesterday and is available for pick up by transfer students today, Nov. 19.

The other festivities of Traditions Day kick off at 11:30 a.m. in Red Square with free food and student performances. Jesuit Residence and Riggs Library Open Houses, campus group displays, an iconography tour by Professor John Glavin and a Sacred Spaces Tour offered by the Office of Campus Ministry make up the first half of the day’s events. The second half of the day’s schedule begins at 8 p.m. in Sellinger Lounge with both dance and a cappella performances followed by the President’s Cup from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Pitting four-student teams from the School of Foreign Service, the McDonough School of Business, the School of Nursing and Health Studies and the College against each other, the President’s Cup may finally lay rest to rumors about which school is the best. The winning team of the academic bowl-style tournament will take home a trophy, Corp Cash and a lunch with University President John J. DeGioia and the dean of the team’s school.

A Hoya’s chicken wing eating contest and a “study break” of snacks and karaoke in Sellinger Lounge conclude Traditions Day activities.

Traditions Day, however, offers not only a nostalgic examination of the university’s past, but also acts as an extension of the FRIENDS Initiative’s mission. The Initiative, formed by students, faculty, staff members and senior administrators, strives to make campus a more active and vibrant community by reducing harm, especially alcohol-related incidents, and strengthening student ownership of the Georgetown experience.

“The Traditions Calendar and Day build community, school spirit and student leadership,” Dan Porterfield, vice president of Public Affairs, said. “They help make Georgetown a fun place. In doing so, I think they promote the feeling of community and solidarity that makes high-risk drinking less likely.”

For the second Georgetown Traditions Day, remaining committee members O’Shaughnessy, Boogard and Antonelli said they have even bigger plans.

“This year was just the beginning,” Antonelli said. “We didn’t have much time to get all campus groups involved. That’s our goal though, and we’ll make sure that happens.”

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