THE HOYA explores five landmark dates in the history of Georgetown University, as reported through the pages of the campus’ oldest newspaper still in existence.

Jan. 14, 1920:

Georgetown University’s newspaper of record was the brainchild of graduate Joseph Mickler (C ’20), from Tampa, Fla. His senior year, he decided that the current news-like publications on campus were inadequate: the monthly College Journal was more of a literary magazine, and the Hilltopper was a small, gossipy newsletter. So, he and his like-minded friends (who would together comprise THE HOYA’s first editorial staff), secured faculty support and advertisements from local businesses, and on Jan. 14, 1920, they produced the first issue of THE HOYA: 13 inches by 10 inches and eight pages long.

For the first time, a campus newspaper would attempt to cover all of Georgetown’s schools, not just the College. In its first issue, THE HOYA ran a number of news briefs and announcements for upcoming events, editorials and humorous pieces. The top stories were about the funeral in Dahlgren Chapel for the late University Treasurer and the naming of ROTC officers for the second semester.

Realizing that the idea of a newspaper for all of Georgetown, and not just the College, might breed resentment among students in the College, Mickler wrote in his first editorial, “We knew Georgetown was big enough for THE HOYA, so we made THE HOYA big enough for Georgetown.”

“Yes, it was quite surprising, wasn’t it? After the Hilltopper and everything. And no end of hard work to put it across. But no doubt it was worth it all, and at least there is no question about THE HOYA making a much better appearance than its distinguished but deceased forerunner.”

He closed his tongue-in-cheek remarks with the words: “Vos plaudite – and with both hands.” As all students were well-schooled in the classics at the time, everyone would have readily understood the first editor-in-chief’s exhortation to the campus to applaud the newspaper – with both hands.

March 2, 1945:

The greatest athlete in Georgetown’s history, Al Blozis (C ’42) was reported missing in action after a battle in France. Blozis, who held five world records in the shot put and went undefeated in 37 track meets at Georgetown, also broke 28 records during his three years competing at Georgetown. He joined the New York Giants in 1942, was named Rookie of the Year and was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

THE HOYA reported his MIA status in poetic terms, using his familiar nickname at Georgetown: “`Big Bertha’ is remembered here for his deeds on the athletic fields, and today you may find him playing the greatest game in the world on the battlefields of Europe,” the news article read. “Gone are the cheering crowds and the plaudits of former years, for Al is playing in that misty nothingness which can best be summed up by . `Missing In Action.’ The final score will be known only after it has been written by the hand of time.”

The final score, so to speak, was when Blozis was listed as dead a few weeks later, though his body was never recovered. His May 11, 1945 obituary in THE HOYA noted: “We could go on almost indefinitely relating his deeds, telling how time after time, he broke his own world’s records in the shot put, how he astounded pigskinners with his amazing coordination and speed. But none of us will ever be able to express in words how big a man Al really was. They just don’t issue those kind of words.”

Additionally, in the March 2 issue, was an announcement that the Boston Braves of the “National Baseball League” would conduct their spring training on Georgetown’s campus. THE HOYA now had a separate, three-page sports section, editorials, viewpoints and photographs.

Sept. 14, 1968:

Under the headline: “Tradition Crumbles, College Adds Girls,” THE HOYA reported that the last all-male school at Georgetown, the College of Arts and Sciences, would admit women for the first time the following year. The first documented instance of women attending school at Georgetown were two women who were enrolled in the Medical School for the 1880-81 academic year. In 1943, women were admitted to the Graduate School, to the School of Foreign Service the following year, to the Medical School in 1947, to the Law School in 1951 and to the Dental School in 1954.

“In a special announcement to THE HOYA, College Dean Royden B. Davis, S.J., revealed that the admissions policy in regard to coeducation has been revised to admit up to 50 girls into the class of ’73,” THE HOYA reported. It added that the “general aim of the acceptance of women to the College is to `broaden and deepen the curricular base of the College of Arts and Sciences,'” according to Davis, though he also noted: “Admission of women would increase revenue substantially.”

Student reaction appeared to be mixed, with some students stating that “the only mistake the administration has made has been waiting so long to act,” while, as one senior put it, “I’m for it rationally, but no one in the College likes to see tradition slapped in the face.”

THE HOYA also carried an update of the construction of Lauinger Library, reporting that three stories had already been built, with two left to go. “Modern GU Library To Provide Campus With Needed Space,” read the headline.

April 6, 1984:

THE HOYA triumphantly reported on the victory of Georgetown’s basketball team over Houston to capture its first NCAA Championship title three days earlier. When the team returned from the game in Seattle, 2,500 students mobbed Healy Circle to congratulate them. Coach John Thompson greeted them with the words, “When I die, if I can’t go to heaven, then take my body back to Georgetown.”

The news article called the victory “a triumph for depth and desire, teamwork and handiwork, domination and intimidation.” HOYA Columnist John Reagan noted: “We won the title. Not just Patrick Ewing, Michael Graham, Reggie Williams, et al. Not even John Thompson alone won it. Georgetown, the University, the community did.”

The Features section demonstrated even more excitement, running the double banner headline: “Hoya Saxa! G’town Celebrates All Night Long! M Street Mobbed by Thousands!”

The 14-page issue included three pages of features, one page of arts, one page of editorials and one page of Viewpoints.

Nov. 6, 1992:

The victory of Georgetown graduate Bill Clinton (SFS ’68) in the 1992 presidential election generally elicited an outpouring of pride and excitement on Georgetown’s campus. Three days after his election victory, THE HOYA called Clinton “unquestionably Georgetown’s favorite son.”

Clinton had given three speeches late the previous year at his alma mater. THE HOYA noted: “The candidate’s speeches, generally praised as energetic and earnest, electrified crowds in Gaston Hall and ICC Auditorium. Many were sold instantly on the idea of a Clinton presidency, and a group of `Students for Clinton’ organized after his first speech.”

Naturally, it was a difficult situation for Republicans on campus. “It wasn’t pleasant to run a campaign against an alumnus,” College Republicans Chair Jay Murphy (SBA ’94) acknowledged. “We didn’t want to bash a fellow Hoya.” Many campus Republicans expressed little surprise over the outcome of the election, however.

THE HOYA’s editorial that day was a call to action for its most powerful alum. “Clinton was elected in part due to tremendous student support,” THE HOYA said. “As such, we hope that Clinton will make good on his promises to initiate legislation long ignored by past administrations.

“Students voted optimistically in this election for change. The new administration and Congress must realize that to maintain this level of student optimism and involvement, the promises of the campaign must be kept. Otherwise, we may again fall back into cynicism and apathy.”

On a more humorous note, THE HOYA ran the Campus Opinion question: “What is Dan Quayle going to do with his life now?” Some Hoyas’ responses were, “Win spelling bees,”Get a part on `Murphy Brown'” and “Learn how to play the saxophone.”

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