It was with deep sadness that we alumni of the Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy learned earlier this semester of professor Patrick Deneen’s imminent departure for the University of Notre Dame.

All who truly know Deneen can attest to his integrity of character and generosity of spirit. All who have studied with him can tell of the masterful lucidity of his lectures and the patient wisdom of his instruction. He is a true intellectual, alive with his academic interests and dedicated to serving his students as individuals. Georgetown is indeed losing a great scholar, a great leader and a great man.

For many students involved with the Tocqueville Forum, Deneen was the charismatic gateway to a vibrant and rich experience at Georgetown. The forum was to us the best of what university life promises: honest, respectful and deep conversations about eternal questions, large and small, cutting across all academic fields and ideological divides. Though we have left the halls of Georgetown, the lessons we learned through the Tocqueville Forum still resonate, its friendships still comfort and its ideals still guide and inspire.

As proud alumni invested in the future of Georgetown, we profess a fervent and deep desire to see the Tocqueville Forum continue to grow and offer future generations of Georgetown students the opportunities, experiences and community we had.

In addition to enriching the intellectual lives of its fellows, the forum has achieved national and international prominence for its thought-provoking and high-caliber programming. The Tocqueville Forum is now, a primary reason why many students come to study at Georgetown and continue to give their support after they graduate.

The forum served as a place for engagement between undergraduate and graduate students, a rare experience at Georgetown outside of teaching assistant-student interactions. It has brought a wide range of people to speak on campus. The Tocqueville Forum also produces a scholarly undergraduate journal and newsletter, offering students a platform to take on complex and interdisciplinary ideas. Through its numerous programs like the annual retreat and student conference, as well as lectures and reading groups, the forum brings students together to learn and grow for the sake of knowledge, for the betterment of ourselves and for the betterment of the world.

We wish our beloved teacher and mentor success and peace at Notre Dame. He is irreplaceable and unforgettable. We encourage the Georgetown community to continue its support of the Tocqueville Forum even after he leaves. We offer our support to our alma mater to help ensure that the Tocqueville Forum will continue its vital mission for years to come, because it is a hub of intellectual life for Georgetown University and encapsulates the very best of what Fr. John Carroll, S.J., hoped to achieve in establishing our alma mater.

This has been submitted on behalf of 25 concurring alumni of the Toqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy.

ERIC WIND graduated from the School of Foreign Service in 2009 and KATE BERMINGHAM graduated from the College in 2011.

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