Much to Be Thankful For

I’ll never give a cent to Georgetown.” Now there is a great attitude. We spend four years at Georgetown, a prestigious institution in a great city with some of the best professors in the world, and yet an abnormally large percentage of alumni don’t contribute to our alma mater. Frankly, I don’t understand why. Even more puzzling is why current seniors, the ones actually benefiting from the university in real time, would not want to give something back. If nothing else, each one of us had the opportunity to get one of the best educations in the world, and if that is not worth something, I don’t know what is.

Sure, we have all been screwed over. Maybe we didn’t get into the class we wanted or we got a lousy pick in the housing lottery. In some instances, people may have more serious grievances, but for the most part, these are inconveniences. There is a sense of unfounded entitlement that is pervasive on our campus. We tend to forget that for every one of us, there were about 15 other high school seniors who wanted to be where we are. I will be the first one to admit that Georgetown is not perfect, but what is?

Students say that they had a great experience at Georgetown, but in the same breath say they will never give back. Our time at Georgetown is made up of a series of activities, including classes, sports or student activities. Usually, students say that they had their best times in their individual activities, whether that is a performing arts group, a student association, campus politics, sports, a newspaper or any of the hundreds of other activities open to students. “I would give back to [insert student activity here], but never to Georgetown.” Hold on, without the university none of those organizations could exist. None of us would have the opportunity to get on stage, to hold lecturers, to celebrate cultures or write ranting columns if we were not students – students at Georgetown.

Georgetown provides an atmosphere and the support for everything we do as students. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an activity. I venture to say that each one of us, by the time we graduate, has had one incredible professor or class. I know that I have had several. I also hope that by the time each of us graduates we have formed new friendships that will last a lifetime friendships that would not have been made without Georgetown.

The Office of Alumni/University Relations should be more of a presence on campus. It is seven blocks away from Healy Gates, and I bet that most students have no idea where it is. Rumor has it that there is a press conference this week to inform students of the resources offered by OAUR to undergraduates and alumni, but why not have a town hall meeting? Gather all the seniors together and talk to them about the transition to being alums. The Senior Class Gift Committee is a tangible presence of OAUR on campus, and it is a great starting point for the transition. It is student-run and is driven by participation from the entire senior class. It is one of the last unifying activities that senior classes do before they leave Georgetown.

Unfortunately, it is the only presence of OAUR on campus. I want to meet the director the Alumni Association. It is easy to get our attention and build a relationship while we are still on campus. Why wait until we have dispersed all over the world? Additionally, the Alumni Association should facilitate the bond between alumni and their respective undergraduate activities. In two months I will be an alumnus, and I want to be able to earmark part of my annual gift to The Hoya and the Georgetown Program Board. If I knew that my money was going someplace that I knew would have a direct impact on student life, I would be much happier.

Seniors, it is easy to focus on the negative aspects of Georgetown, but just think of all the opportunities that our Georgetown experience has offered us. Think of the friends you have made and the memories you will have for the rest of your life. I hope that our class will remain active as alumni, because we have a responsibility to the university. It has its flaws, but Georgetown has shaped each one of us in some fashion, and it will have an impact on us forever.

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in The Hoya.

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