Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Inaugural GradGov Gala Gathers Over 1,000 Attendees


Georgetown University Graduate Student Government (GradGov) hosted its inaugural gala at the National Building Museum Feb 24.

Over 1,000 Georgetown graduate students attended the first-ever GradGov gala, which contributes to the fulfillment of the organization’s mission to foster a graduate community. GradGov additionally seeks to widen career opportunities for graduate students, with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

Micaila Curtis (GRD 28), president of GradGov, said that the GradGov gala was a unique night meant to bring together students, especially considering the large international student body within Georgetown’s graduate programs. 

“We wanted students to be able to have this experience coming to graduate school, especially with having such a large number of international students in our programs,” Curtis said.

Curtis said the event provides a unique opportunity for graduate students from different schools and programs to meet whether they attend programs either in-person or hybrid.

“People that are remote or hybrid students also have an opportunity to come in and start building their community with other people and their graduate program, but also from other graduate programs in other schools,” Curtis said. 

Nodi Khudoyberdieva (GRD 24), deputy director of GradGov’s events committee, said that this event would also provide students in smaller programs the opportunity to attend a gala, something that they would not otherwise access.

“The Law School and School of Foreign Service: they do their annual galas, but smaller programs, let’s say the McCourt Public Policy School, the Medical School, School of Continuing Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences — none of these programs and schools have galas, so that’s why this was our unique selling point,” Khudoyberdieva told The Hoya. 

“We started brainstorming, I think early in September and then finalized it in February,” Khudoyberdieva added. “Our gala was a unique opportunity for all program students to get off of their school program affiliation.”

Honorary speaker provost Robert Groves, adjunct professor Sean O’Brien and Georgetown University Alumni Association (GUAA) President-Elect Fitz Lufkin IV (COL 11, GRD 12) delivered the opening remarks, showing alumni support for the graduate students and the graduate student alumni committee.

Courtesy to Jamie Zhang | GradGov, Georgetown’s graduate student committee, inaugurated the GradGov gala for graduate students at the National Building Museum Feb 24, which welcomed over 1000 attendees.

“Provost Groves has done a lot to support the graduate students and GradGov in different initiatives, but also ensuring that we feel supportive,” Curtis said. “For the President-Elect Fitz of GUAA, it was symbolic because we’re also trying to build the graduate student alumni community.” 

Lara Jenko (GRD 28) attended the GradGov gala and said the venue, the National Building Museum, located four blocks from the National Mall, was a highlight of the night.

“It felt European because of the architecture, so that was really nice. It was nice to be there with your friends and have an opportunity to hang out with them outside of the classroom,” Jenko told The Hoya. 

According to Khudoyberdieva, preparation for the gala started in the fall, and GradGov specifically chose the venue to align with Georgetown’s Jesuit values.

“We went to a couple of museums and art galleries September through November. We wanted to ensure that the building resonated with the Georgetown community, who is always striving for excellence,” Khudoyberdieva said.

Curtis added that the National Building’s ability to accommodate 2,000 people was attractive as it had the capacity for a large proportion of the number of graduate students at Georgetown, which is over 13,000.

“We wanted a large venue because we have over 13,000 total graduate students enrolled at Georgetown University and graduates represent over 10,000 of those. We wanted to have a very large venue that we could host many of our students,” Curtis added.

Aakansha Chacko (GRD 24) said that this event was notable as it was the only time all the graduate students could come together in a single space and connect beyond the classroom. 

“There’s no big event that kind of encompasses all of the graduate schools. Some of the individual schools often have their own events, but there’s nothing that everybody is invited to or everyone kind of has an opportunity to go to. So it was nice to get everyone together,” Chacko said.

Curtis said that the gala helps to support a graduate student community, and the committee intends to turn the event into an annual tradition.

“We hope that it’s the first of many so that people have this annual event where they can get people together,” Curtis said. 


Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *