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

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENCY Inauguration Focuses on Character, Identity

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Members of the Georgetown community pray Thursday in Red Square.

As members of the Georgetown family return to celebrate the inauguration of the university’s 48th president, organizers hope this weekend’s gathering will showcase the character and Jesuit identity of the community.

This year’s celebration of the presidential transition will focus the Georgetown community itself.

English professor and one of the principal organizers of Saturday’s inaugural ceremony, John Glavin, de-emphasized the size of the ceremony, calling it a “concentration of ideas, and a concentration on people,” but not focused on its more glamorous aspects. “Other universities tend to bring in national and international luminaries … but we have chosen not to do that.”

Ultimately, according to Glavin, the inauguration isn’t about any of these things. It is “a renewal of the character of the institution … It’s a very simple ceremony, and in a way, that’s very appropriate for the university.”

“It’s going to feel very much like a family celebration of Georgetown by Georgetown,” Glavin said. “For the first time in Georgetown’s history, there is the sense that there is a first family,” he said, referring to DeGioia, his wife, Theresa, and their son, John Thomas.

Glavin also added that the inauguration was planned to coincide with Parents’ Weekend, adding another element to “our large, extended Georgetown family” during inaugural events.

Saturday’s inauguration ceremonies will take place at the Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall.

Organizers have stressed undergraduate participation in Saturday’s ceremony and surrounding events.

Fifty undergraduates will serve as ushers while 600 student tickets will be available for both the afternoon ceremony and an inaugural concert, also at D.A.R. Constitution Hall, later that evening.

They will join over 200 staff members, around 550 parents and several hundred alumni in Constitution Hall on Saturday, according to the Communications Office.

“We’ve done everything we can do to present the undergraduates as an integral part of the university itself,” Glavin said.

Between 150 to 200 students will also perform during the ceremony and concert, including members of the Georgetown University Jazz Band, Jazz Choir, Orchestra and Concert Choir.

This will provide student performers an opportunity to have “a professional experience in a professional venue,” said Music Department Chair Jose Bowen.

Adding to the scope of the inauguration,there will be various academic symposia, held yesterday and today, to commerate the event.

Representatives from over 100 institutions of higher learning will attend the event, from Harvard to Oxford to the University of Vienna.

McDonough Auditorium and Gaston Hall were considered as locations for the ceremony, but were eventually rejected because of size and sound concerns.

“We certainly recognize that everyone wants to have it on campus,” Bowen said. “You can’t have an event like this and not have enough seats.”

Gaston Hall holds several hundred people, while Constitution Hall has 2,900 seats available for the inauguration.

According to Glavin, Constitution Hall was not solely chosen because of size issues.

It is also “the biggest, nicest venue once you get off campus.”

The inaugural concert, held after the inauguration itself on Saturday night, is another substantial undertaking. Also held at Constitution Hall, it features well-known jazz musician and composer Dave Brubeck performing with Georgetown students.

“The experience of playing with Dave Brubeck or another big musician is an experience the students will never forget,” Bowen said.

Bowen said he had originally suggested that the university charge $20 per person for the inaugural concert, but the university had decided to make it a free concert for members of the Georgetown community.

Bowen added that bringing Brubeck to perform for the inauguration had not cost the university much.

“He’s a very reasonable fee,” Bowen said. He has “a very modest fee compared to other musicians of his stature,” adding that it was less than what the Georgetown Program Board had paid to bring the Roots to campus earlier this month.

According to Brian McCabe (SFS ’02), 200 tickets for the ceremony are still available to students. They can be picket up in the Office of Student Programs, Room 316 in the Leavey Center.

– Staff Writer Alison Banks contributed to this report.

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