With a celebration for the picture book’s launch, Georgetown highlighted the release of “Georgetown Icons” yesterday.

According to University President John J. DeGioia, the book is a museum-quality publication that honors Georgetown legacy as a unique, top-tier university.

“This book, its quotations, its imagery, its journey into the hallmarks of Hoya history, has captured Georgetown’s character,” DeGioia said at the event in Gaston Hall on Tuesday. “It will always be a reminder — and an inspiration — of that spirit.”

Leslie J. Little (CAS ‘86) gave a presentation after DeGioia’s remarks regarding the work and editing that went into making the book. “Georgetown Icons” — the first of Little’s “University Icons” series — is her second of three “Icons” books. Her first, “Paris Icons,” won the 2009 Gold Medal for Most Outstanding Book Design of 2009 from the Independent Publishers Association.

The project was initiated by College Dean Chester Gillis, who contacted Little after she sent him “Paris Icons.” Little then teamed up with Georgetown University photographer Phil Humnicky to begin the nine-month long project of research and editing.

“After looking at her ‘Paris’ book, I realized it is all about the little details instead of big buildings,” Humnicky said. “I don’t know how many times I’ve been in and out of Gaston [Hall] photographing different events, and I never noticed the little details that make Georgetown as beautiful as it is.”

Little attributes her initial inspiration for the book to her Georgetown history degree and to the unequalled spirit she discovered throughout the campus.

“I wanted to produce a museum-quality book that captured the soul of Georgetown, and that meant getting the history, artistry, quotes and architecture right,” said Little. “What the book really strives to do is capture the intangible of Georgetown; you know it when you see it.”

Associate Professor Fr. William McFadden S.J., who helped with the book’s production, was pleased with how well Little achieved her goal.

“There are some things — I’ve been here long enough to know — you just don’t notice. I think she has a wonderful taste for getting just the right angle and the artistic eye for this type of project,” McFadden said.

In order to make the book accessible to the Georgetown community, six copies were raffled off to attendees at Tuesday’s ceremony. The price of the book was kept down to $150, half the price of “Paris Icons.”

Ethan Chess (COL ’14) hopes to acquire a copy for his birthday.

“There’s so much of Georgetown to see, so many people, places and different groups, that I really think this book will bring to the fore,” Chess said.

Members of the College Academic Council also attended the event.

“It came across as so meaningful for [Little],” said CAC Vice President Jed Feiman (COL ’12). “It doesn’t feel like a book; it feels like a valuable. It made me nostalgic and so much more present at Georgetown.”

According to Little, that sentiment is exactly what she was aiming for in crafting the book, which pairs the university’s art with quotes from its greatest students and educators.

“In the purity and detail, it ties us to the larger context and immediately transports us to an emotional place,” she said. “We just feel a comfort level when we see them because we know we are home.”

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