FILE PHOTO: ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA The renovation of the Old Jesuit Residence will yield a dorm dedicated as a Living Learning Community for the “spirit of Georgetown.”
The renovation of the Old Jesuit Residence will yield a dorm dedicated as a Living Learning Community for the “spirit of Georgetown.”

The entire dorm replacing the old Jesuit residence in Ryan and Mulledy Halls will be a Living Learning Community dedicated to the “spirit of Georgetown,” requiring applications from all 148 residents.

Set to open in fall 2015, the LLC, which has been named the Spirit of Georgetown Residential Academy, will house 148 students selected by the Office of Residential Living. The students will be required to participate in monthly conversations with other residents, host community-wide events and complete an ePortfolio detailing their contributions to the university.

Because of the buildings’ ties to the Jesuit community and its central campus location opening onto Dahlgren Quad, administrators and others involved in the planning process decided to dedicate the whole dorm to an LLC, rather than only a portion of the residence. The community will be the only LLC to encompass an entire dorm, and will be the largest LLC.

The Spirit of Georgetown Residential Academy will join LLCs in living well, Jewish life, French language and culture, culture and performance, justice and diversity in action, global living and Muslim interest.

Applications will be made available in the beginning of December, and Director of Residential Education Ed Gilhool said he expects a large pool.

The nine tenets on which the LLC will focus on will include Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the Greater Glory of God), Contemplatives in Action, Academic Excellence, Educating the Whole Person, Cura Personalis, Faith & Justice, Women & Men for Others, Interreligious Understanding, and Community in Diversity.

“Given the rich history and location of the buildings, the planning dents,” Gilhool wrote in an email. “Inspired by the ‘Residential College’ models seen on campuses such as Stanford and Cornell, the Residential Academy will offer students a unique and focused living experience that will allow them to explore in depth their Georgetown education.”

According to Catholic Chaplain Fr. Gregory Schenden, S.J., a member of the planning committee, the Residential Academy will further the real-life application of Jesuit values on campus.

“What will make this residence unique (even in terms of Living and Learning Communities) is that the ‘philosophy’ of the residence will be built upon the nine tenets of the Spirit of Georgetown,” Schenden wrote in an email. “The desire is that these tenets, while very much at work in all facets of Georgetown life already, will be experienced or lived in a more explicit, intentional and mindful way in this new residence. I feel that this will garner interest in terms of applying to live in the residence.”

Schenden said that the Residential Academy will make a powerful historical connection to the Jesuits who previously resided in Ryan and Mulledy Halls.

“That a new residence is being created and based explicitly and mindfully upon the Spirit of Georgetown tenets, which are rooted in our greater Ignatian or Jesuit tradition in the buildings that have historically been home to the Jesuits here at Georgetown, makes for a powerful historical connection,” Schenden wrote. “It is wonderful that the buildings will once again be used residentially and devoted to the tenets of our Ignatian or Jesuit heritage.”

Mary Petrone (COL ’15), a residential assistant representative on the planning committee, said that the Residential Academy will be unique in creating a cohesive community by encompassing a whole residential building.

“Unlike other Living and Learning Communities that are going to take a floor of the building, this will be the entire building. The vision is for it to be one cohesive community,” Petrone said.

Petrone said that buildings’ ties with Georgetown’s Jesuit values deserved preservation.

“The buildings that are remodeled right now, the former Jesuit Residence, are very old and are very significant on our Georgetown campus because of their nature, their ties with the Jesuit tradition here,” Petrone said. “And also the location of the buildings open out to Dahlgren Quad, which is a very sacred space. We want it to preserve that. We want to be mindful of that history and tradition in modern-day campus. We want to do something that is different and make the building a threshold that ties into the spiritual aspect of the campus.”

The former Jesuit Residence will feature semi-suites and apartments with two, four, six, eight and nine-person units. Some of the rooms will have lofts and balconies facing the Potomac River.

Petrone said that this renovation will appeal to students looking for new housing arrangements.

“The building is going to offer new style of living that is not offered by other residence halls on campus, so that’s going to have a big appeal,” Petrone said. “That’s the purpose of shaping new building structure, to make it more appealing to students.”

Petrone said that while the Residential Academy appeals to students religious in the Catholic faith, it will be inclusive to all students, regardless of their religion.

“I think it would initially attract students that are more religious in the Catholic faith,” Petrone said. “I hope it would advent to be more inclusive to the student body because even if you are not particularly religious, the Jesuit values and reflecting college traditions are just something that is very important for all college kids. I hope that everyone can find value in it.”

Regardless, some students said that an LLC focusing on Jesuit values would not be appealing to them because of its religious connections.

“I think it would be really interesting to live in the Jesuit residence,” Emily Lau (NHS ’17) said. “But I guess if they change it into a living and learning community for Jesuit values, I’m not sure if I would apply because I am not very religious.”


Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that applications for the Spirit of Georgetown LLC are due in early December. Applications will, in fact, be made available in early December.

One Comment

  1. I would want to live there if I were at GU now. Congrats to GU for the vision to make this LLC happen. It’s going to be a great place!!

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