Charles Nailen/The Hoya President John J. DeGioia sat down with the campus press to discuss the university in his office Tuesday morning.

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia spoke about numerous campus issues, their respective resolutions and impending projects in a meeting with the campus press Tuesday morning. He focused on four main themes – the talent Georgetown has recruited in the past year, improvements to the medical center facilities, the tremendous fundraising effort and the newer capitol construction projects.

DeGioia, a former Georgetown student, became the first layperson to head a Jesuit university when he assumed the post of president last fall.

“I feel terrific at 18 months – we’ve been able to accomplish important goals, most significantly recruiting some wonderful talent like a new provost, a new vice president and chief financial officers, among others,” he said. “In building a new team I feel fortunate to bring in new talent and find people within the institution.”

In the past year Georgetown has recruited new administrators and shuffled long-time university employees. Some positions, including Director of Residence Life, remain vacant, but DeGioia said has no worries about them being filled.

The medical center is also being revamped and plans include hiring talented new faculty members.

Thirdly, the university embarked on its most ambitious fundraising effort ever in the hopes to raise one billion dollars. Eight hundred and seventy million dollars have successfully been collected since Dec. 31 and six months remain.

“Fundraising is challenging considering the nature of the economy post Sept. 11,” DeGioia said. “Our success indicates the depth of commitment by our alumni.”

Finally, DeGioia stressed the importance and current success of the university’s construction projects, including the current Southwest Quadrangle and the plans for a Performing Arts Center and new business school facilities. The Southwest Quad is due for delivery July 17 and all signs indicate that students will be able to live in the new residence hall in fall 2003, he said. This year’s housing lottery will move forward under that assumption.

Members of the Burleith Citizens Association recently announced that they would not endorse the new Performing Arts Center because the university was over its promised cap in enrollment. DeGioia, however, expects that this will not present a significant problem.

“We believe we are in compliance [with the enrollment cap], and we’ve been scrupulous in our efforts to make sure we’re in compliance . there is documentation available, we understand the rules,” he said.

DeGioia also announced that the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation recently chose Georgetown University as the forum to hold a national youth summit. The conference, slated for Feb. 11, will focus on four key themes, two of which are health and education. Of the 400 student representatives, 100 will be from Georgetown.

Finally, DeGioia also expressed pleasure with recent cultural events and matters on campus.

“We took a more expansive approach to the Martin Luther King celebration this year,” he said. “We organized events to draw the university together in special ways, including the new John Thompson Legacy of a Dream award and the musical performance at the Kennedy Center.”

Georgetown University student groups took to the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center with famous musician Roberta Flack for a free concert celebrating Dr. King’s legacy. The performance drew 8,000 people, a crowd record, according to DeGioia.

He also referred to the group of Afghan students that will be arriving at Georgetown this weekend. The exchange program is part of a three-part plan to aid the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

“Last year we invited Chairman Karzai to speak at campus, in July we had a summit meeting on the recovery of Afghanistan and now we have Afghan students coming for a few weeks,” he said.

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