University Rings in 225 on the Hilltop
Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 03:01
On Jan. 23, 1789, Bishop John Carroll, S.J., purchased a plot of land with a view of the Potomac River. Two hundred twenty-five years later, Georgetown University celebrated its birthday with a spate of activities to commemorate his now famous purchase.
To celebrate the milestone, the Office of Advancement worked in conjunction with several organizations.
“The Office of Advancement served as the hub organizing the day’s celebrations, working with campus partners to make it a university-wide event,” Assistant Director of Student Programs and Class Campaigns Geoffrey Bible (SFS ’12, GRD ’13) said.
Festivities included the dispensing of free cake in the Leavey Center, a birthday-themed dinner in O’Donovan Hall and a celebratory night of faux-ice skating in Red Square, sponsored by the Georgetown Program Board.
Leo’s focused on dessert, offering birthday cupcakes and birthday cakes decorated with the GU 225th birthday logo, according to the Aramark’s marketing manager Adam Solloway.
“Students and Leo’s staff alike celebrated by wearing birthday hats and playing with the decor and table pieces, setting the mood for a great afternoon,” he said.
The day was also commemorated with happybirthdaygeorgetown.tumblr.com and the Office of Advancement compiled posts from Instagram photos featuring the hashtag #GU225. Students and alumni posted pictures and notes, highlighting what Georgetown had come to symbolize for them.
Anupam Chakravarty (SFS ’10, GRD ’15), senior manager of interactive and multimedia communications in the Office of Advancement, helped to create the commemorative Tumblr page.
“Our goal was to foster a vibrant and interactive conversation among members of the Georgetown community reflecting on the university’s past, present and future,” Chakravarty said. “I think #GU225’s success is a great example of the shared belief across the university that creative digital outreach is a powerful way to help people feel more connected with their alma mater.”
Many of the messages posted on the page highlighted a variety of Georgetown’s core values, involving service and faith.
One Georgetown student posted, “My wish for Georgetown is that we will become more open-minded and interact with the community beyond the front gates.”
Some of the other posts were more humorous in nature, as another student promised to never publicly reveal pictures from their 1976 sojourn in New South Hall.
Historic photos, including one of a baseball field where the Rafik B. Hariri Building currently stands, and more sentimental images such as wedding pictures outside Dahlgren Chapel, ensured that the pictures resonated with those affiliated with the university.
“Both students and alumni demonstrated love for their alma mater’s history and mission. The heartfelt birthday ‘wishes’ left on the Tumblr page and tweets with #GU225 showed how much of an impact this institution has had on its students and alumni,” Bible said.
The Corp and The Tombs both celebrated the day by offering a few popular items at the price of $2.25, in honor of the anniversary. The Corp served discounted medium-sized lattes at all Corp coffee locations, while Tombs offered lower-priced brownies and Tombs Ale.
According to Molly Quigley, the reservations and private party manager at The Tombs, the campus haunt was filled to capacity on Georgetown’s birthday.
“Students and alumni celebrated Georgetown’s 225th at The Tombs the same way we celebrate anyone’s birthday [whom] we love and admire, sans a stamp on the forehead, of course,” Quigley said. “It was a great day. Our bar and dining room was full most of day and night with happy Hoyas.