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

Mutombo Congratulates Eronini on Scholarship

Patrick Eronini (NHS ’12) downplayed his meeting Monday with Georgetown basketball legend Dikembe Mutombo (SLL ’91) and the reason behind it.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” said Eronini, who was informed about the visit just days before. Mutombo and the Merage Foundation for the American Dream awarded Eronini a scholarship this summer for his academic and service achievements.

“I thought it was pretty cool,” Eronini said of Mutombo’s visit. “It was kind of fun. He’s fairly laid-back and he’s funny. He’s a kind person so it was an enjoyable experience.”

He added, “He talked about how he felt like every time he comes back to Georgetown, the campus seems to be changing and getting bigger and bigger, but in a positive way.”

The Merage Foundation’s stated mission is “[helping] immigrants become leaders in their communities and in the nation . The Foundation’s hope is that increasing numbers of immigrants will be able to reach their own and their family’s aspirations.”

Eronini said he wasn’t really sure why he was chosen, but Daniel Porterfield, senior vice president for strategic development, supported Eronini.

“His impact is enormous. He is a student leader. Other students come to Georgetown, and they enjoy their time more because of him,” Porterfield said.

Eronini, the son of Nigerian parents, was born in England, moved to Texas when he was 7, and grew up in Maryland.

“It makes it easier for me to relate to people somehow,” Eronini said. “I’m open to other people’s views and experiences because I’ve been all over.”

Relating to others and serving the community have been the guiding principle of Eronini’s time at Georgetown.

Porterfield met Eronini at a dinner he held during a pre-orientation program.

“I could tell from that first meeting that he was extremely thoughtful,” Porterfield said.

He asked Eronini to intern in his office the next summer and selected him to be one of three peer mentors for a new summer program as part of Georgetown’s involvement with the Cristo Rey Network, a group of Catholic schools serving economically disadvantaged students.

Eronini also served on the President’s Initiative on Diversity and Inclusiveness and the Georgetown ALLIES, coordinates Hoya Saxa Weekend and co-founded the Minority Health Initiative Group.

One of the programs Eronini is most proud of being involved in is Hoya Saxa Weekend, which helps bring under-represented minorities to campus during Georgetown Admissions Ambassador Program weekend. Last year, the program sponsored 69 students.

“I came to [Hoya Saxa Weekend] when I was admitted, so it’s really important to me,” Eronini said. “It lets students see what college is like, and allows them to get their feet wet and forge connections before starting so they can make greater contributions when they are here.”

Porterfield said Eronini is like a big brother to students he mentors.

“Part of his role is to bring out the best in others,” he said.

Eronini’s interest in medicine stems from the same source – a desire to help people.

“It allows me to solve complicated problems and work with individuals at the same time,” he said.

After graduating next year, Eronini said he wants to get a master’s degree in public health in addition to going to medical school with the hope of working in international health.”

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