John Carroll Scholars Launch Millennium Project Promoting Student Identity

By Rebecca Sinderbrand Hoya Staff Writer

The John Carroll Scholars have been hosting a series of events from Wednesday through Sunday dedicated to the theme “The illennium Project.” The program has so far sponsored a speech by former CIA Director James Woolsey and a dance to benefit the D.C. Schools Project. Plans for this weekend include an on-campus five-kilometer run and an art and music exposition.

So far, five events have taken place with six more scheduled through the weekend. According to event co-chair Joe Chmielewski (SFS ’02), attendance has been strong for the week-long project. “We are very happy with the level of participation at the events and in general for the expo,” he said.

“I would say for the first year it has been a success so far,” Chmielewski said. “It has been a learning process, but there is room for improvement.”

“The purpose of the week’s events are to get the campus talking about their `generational identity,’ so that this generation creates its own identity out of events that are occurring, without having a label forced on them,” said Jason urray, associate director of the John Carroll Scholars Program. “They should view this generation as a `work-in-progress.'”

The John Carroll Scholars were formed about 25 years ago, and were originally referred to as the “Alumni Scholars.” The program was devoted to giving scholarship awards to deserving students, but two years ago it was expanded beyond the financial level; now, the program’s 90 sophomores and 100 freshman are presented with an array of academic and service options that bring them in contact with prominent faculty members and alumni.

There are also 25 scholars each in the junior and senior classes, holdovers from the days when the program was just a scholarship award.

The stated goal of the scholars is to “change for the better the campus lives of all Georgetown undergraduates, starting with a group judged by the admissions committee to possess the most passion and most talent for creating change and leading active and reflective lives.”

The unstated goal of the program is to attract the cream of the admissions crop, students who might otherwise head off to Harvard or Yale.

John Carroll Scholars are chosen through a “secondary admissions process,” said Millennium Project co-chair Jacques Arsenault (COL ’00). The admissions office selects students for the program based on GPA and SAT scores, as well as intangible factors such as leadership experience, community service and past involvement.

“We [the Carroll Scholars] wanted to give something back to the university,” said Arsenault. “This event has been student-driven” and is open to the entire university community, he said.

The week began with an exhibit of research by Carroll Scholars on the state of American education, to displayed Wednesday and Thursday in Red Square. On Thursday, “Congress at Your Command,” a panel discussion featuring Carroll Scholars explored options for involvement in the legislative process at 1 p.m. in the Village C Formal Lounge.

The speaker for “Congress at Your Command” was a Father Robert Drinan, the last Catholic clergyman to serve in Congress.

Students had the chance to discuss the question “Why Shouldn’t I Swim in the Potomac?” at a panel on environmental issues of that river and the question of preservation or development at 3 p.m. on Thursday in the New South Faculty Lounge.

Also on Thursday, former CIA director Woolsey was the keynote speaker of a student/faculty panel discussion of “Security Issues in the 21st century” at 6 p.m. in the Leavey Ballroom. At 9 p.m. that night, the “Dance Through the Decades for Charity” was held in the Leavey Center Ballroom.

On Friday, a geography bee will be held at 1:30 p.m. in McNeir. Winners will receive gift certificates to M Street restaurants. Also in McNeir, at 4 p.m., there will be an alumni and student panel on student activism at Georgetown University.

On Saturday, there will be a Capital Area Food Bank community service event, with five-hour shifts leaving from Healy Gates at 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.

“We are hoping for a lot of people for the 5K run on Saturday,” said race organizer Aaron Hiatt (COL ’01). “So far over 30 people have registered.”

At 11 a.m., the 5K runners will begin to wind their way around the GU campus; the top male and female finishers in each event will receive a Foot Locker gift certificate, according to Hiatt.

On Sunday, there will be a program highlighting student art, poetry and music from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in the ICC Galleria. The finale of the week’s events will be the 4 p.m. closing ceremony and dedication of a special time capsule, to contain items donated by each campus club.

“We want to get the John Carroll name out there, and let the campus know that this is an effective way to get things done,” said Jill Wohrle (SFS ’02).

“At the same time, this is a great opportunity to give the student body information on a host of topics, from environmental awareness to national security,” she added.

The charity dance and the 5K run around the Georgetown campus will be the only two events to charge a gratuity: the dance will cost attendees $2, with the proceeds going to the D.C. Schools Project, while runners will be charged $5 to help defray the cost of the race day T-shirts that each will receive. All other events will be free.

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