It really isn’t often that advertising slogans or mottos are entirely true. But this weekend I found out that the one that matters the most is.

Georgetown Forever. You remember the banners, of course. You may have even noticed when they were taken down from the walls of Healy. But did you ever think about what they meant, or did you just write them off as a gimmick to recruit alumni donors?

The first time I saw Georgetown I was in the second grade, when my family came to the District after my oldest brother was accepted. I’m not sure if they called them GAAP weekends back then, but I will never forget looking out the back window of the station wagon and seeing the Healy clock tower outlined against the sky.

We came back to Georgetown regularly after that, driving across the Key Bridge under a canopy of blue and gray New Student Orientation balloons for two brothers in the next three years. And whether it was walking across campus to buy my first school sweatshirt or sitting on the lawn to watch graduation, nearly every early memory I have of Georgetown includes those two banners. But just because I read them a thousand times that doesn’t mean I understood them or that they clicked.

Lessons like that can’t be learned on your own and it took my siblings to show me that even long after I’ve left Georgetown it will never leave me.

This weekend Tom (MSB ’94) and Tim Goundrey (COL ’96) came back to Georgetown for a close friend’s wedding. Neither had been on the Hilltop for the better part of a decade and we hadn’t all been here together since Tim graduated in 1996. They went off and found careers, and in one case, a wife, but the minute they set foot on campus again I could see in their eyes that they were back home.

The idea that Georgetown will always be a place where I belong is a comforting thought, particularly as I leaf through the Undergraduate Bulletin, picking out classes for my last semester of college. Seeing that Tom could still pull up a stool at the bar in The Tombs a decade after he was a regular somehow made receiving my class ring in the mail a day earlier less tragic.

This isn’t to say that nothing has changed; plenty has, but the things that are different are nowhere near as important as the things that stay the same. The tree in the middle of the Village B courtyard has long grown past the point where a running jump can clear it and just about every shop on M Street has changed hands three times, but does that really matter so long as Tombs buffalo wings still taste the same?

If you asked them, they’d say that that it isn’t “their” Georgetown anymore, that it’s mine. But I saw them sit around a table with 10 old friends and chat as if not a day had passed. They’d say that they were reminiscing, but I’d say they were all transported. I’d say that their Georgetown is still as much here as mine is. It doesn’t matter how many buildings have been added or even that the School of Languages and Linguistics was merged into the College. All you need to do is walk through Healy Gates or out into Dahlgren Quad and in an instant it’s there, because it never went away.

Georgetown is forever, but it is not stagnant. It is constantly changing and evolving, but its spirit stays the same. It’s like last week’s Traditions Day; the material it’s made of has been there for decades, but the exact way it’s put together is original.

I know that, in the details, my Georgetown experience is very different from my two brothers’; I made it that way by choosing different classes and activities. But the important things, the ones that make Georgetown my home, are all the same. And now that I’ve seen those things don’t go away when you’re handed your diploma, I’ll admit that I’m a little less scared to graduate because I know that whenever I come back they will be right here waiting for me.

Mary Goundrey is a senior in the College and a contributing editor for The Hoya and can be reached at goundreythehoya.com. The Unforgiving Minute appears every other Tuesday.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.

It really isn’t often that advertising slogans or mottos are entirely true. But this weekend I found out that the one that matters the most is.

Georgetown Forever. You remember the banners, of course. You may have even noticed when they were taken down from the walls of Healy. But did you ever think about what they meant, or did you just write them off as a gimmick to recruit alumni donors?

The first time I saw Georgetown I was in the second grade, when my family came to the District after my oldest brother was accepted. I’m not sure if they called them GAAP weekends back then, but I will never forget looking out the back window of the station wagon and seeing the Healy clock tower outlined against the sky.

We came back to Georgetown regularly after that, driving across the Key Bridge under a canopy of blue and gray New Student Orientation balloons for two brothers in the next three years. And whether it was walking across campus to buy my first school sweatshirt or sitting on the lawn to watch graduation, nearly every early memory I have of Georgetown includes those two banners. But just because I read them a thousand times that doesn’t mean I understood them or that they clicked.

Lessons like that can’t be learned on your own and it took my siblings to show me that even long after I’ve left Georgetown it will never leave me.

This weekend Tom (MSB ’94) and Tim Goundrey (COL ’96) came back to Georgetown for a close friend’s wedding. Neither had been on the Hilltop for the better part of a decade and we hadn’t all been here together since Tim graduated in 1996. They went off and found careers, and in one case, a wife, but the minute they set foot on campus again I could see in their eyes that they were back home.

The idea that Georgetown will always be a place where I belong is a comforting thought, particularly as I leaf through the Undergraduate Bulletin, picking out classes for my last semester of college. Seeing that Tom could still pull up a stool at the bar in The Tombs a decade after he was a regular somehow made receiving my class ring in the mail a day earlier less tragic.

This isn’t to say that nothing has changed; plenty has, but the things that are different are nowhere near as important as the things that stay the same. The tree in the middle of the Village B courtyard has long grown past the point where a running jump can clear it and just about every shop on M Street has changed hands three times, but does that really matter so long as Tombs buffalo wings still taste the same?

If you asked them, they’d say that that it isn’t “their” Georgetown anymore, that it’s mine. But I saw them sit around a table with 10 old friends and chat as if not a day had passed. They’d say that they were reminiscing, but I’d say they were all transported. I’d say that their Georgetown is still as much here as mine is. It doesn’t matter how many buildings have been added or even that the School of Languages and Linguistics was merged into the College. All you need to do is walk through Healy Gates or out into Dahlgren Quad and in an instant it’s there, because it never went away.

Georgetown is forever, but it is not stagnant. It is constantly changing and evolving, but its spirit stays the same. It’s like last week’s Traditions Day; the material it’s made of has been there for decades, but the exact way it’s put together is original.

I know that, in the details, my Georgetown experience is very different from my two brothers’; I made it that way by choosing different classes and activities. But the important things, the ones that make Georgetown my home, are all the same. And now that I’ve seen those things don’t go away when you’re handed your diploma, I’ll admit that I’m a little less scared to graduate because I know that whenever I come back they will be right here waiting for me.

Mary Goundrey is a senior in the College and a contributing editor for The Hoya and can be reached at goundreythehoya.com. The Unforgiving Minute appears every other Tuesday.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.