Georgetown University has reached over half of their fundraising goal this month with $1.83 billion raised to contribute towards 2024 Capitol Campus expansion, which will include the Georgetown University Law Center (GULC), Capitol Applied Learning Labs (CALL), McCourt School of Public Policy, School of Continuing Studies, Earth Commons and other interdisciplinary programs.
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the downtown campus is blocks away from the U.S. Capitol Building, Supreme Court and Library of Congress and invites both undergraduate and graduate students to study and live there.
Bart Moore (SFS ’87), the vice president of the office of advancement, which handles the university’s fundraising and development activities, said the expansion of the Capitol Campus serves to increase students’ access to the plethora of opportunities the city has to offer.
“Students can see in this a historic commitment to grow and improve the buildings and other facilities that are required to make Georgetown an ever-better place to study, learn, teach and do research,” Moore wrote to The Hoya.
“We need space to grow, and where better to do it than downtown, where through our Law Center we have long had a home, and in doing so, double-down on the extraordinary asset that is our location in the nation’s capital city,” Moore added.
The Earth Commons, Georgetown’s hub for sustainability and environmental innovation that launched in 2022, is currently located in Regents Hall but will be moved to a 230,000 square feet building acquired in 2021 at the Capitol Campus. This building will also house the School of Continuing Studies and other interdisciplinary programs.
The McCourt School, Georgetown’s graduate school for public policy currently located in Old North, will also be relocated to a new facility downtown planned at more than 130,000 square feet that will open to students in summer 2024.
The Capitol Campus received a $30 million gift for its expansion — the largest ever monetary donation in the history of the university — in June from Georgetown graduate and Taiwanese businessman Daniel Tsai (LAW ’79) to expand the Law Center.
Tiffany Tam (CAS ’23, LAW ’26), a first-year student at Georgetown Law, said the center’s proximity to institutions that govern and make the law compelled her to enroll on the campus.
“Location influenced my decision to attend GULC,” Tam wrote to The Hoya. “GULC’s proximity to the Supreme Court is another major draw for many students.”
Tam said she is emboldened by the university’s efforts to invest in the Law Center and the gracious donation from Tsai.
“I’m a strong proponent of investing deeply in what you already have,” Tam wrote. “I think the $30M donation is very generous, and I look forward to seeing how the new building incentivizes students and faculty to make meaningful contributions to the legal profession.”
Aside from the GULC, which was established downtown in 1971, Georgetown has also acquired an interdisciplinary student center that is home to the CALL, which enables undergraduates to spend a semester living, studying and working downtown.
Andrea Smith (CAS ’25) is currently taking a journalism class through the CALL and commutes downtown for the class each Wednesday. Smith said she originally didn’t plan on taking a class on the Capitol Campus but decided to enroll after seeing Karoun Demirjian, a political correspondent for the New York Times, on the faculty list.
“I saw that Karoun Demirjian from The New York Times was teaching this congressional reporting class. And I just knew this was an offer that I could not pass up,” Smith told The Hoya.
Smith said the class has allowed her to get first-hand experience of what a political journalist career in D.C. would look like.
“We saw all the senators like Senator Warren, Ted Cruz, we saw Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and we got to see it from the press gallery,” Smith said. “And they showed us around too, we saw Professor Demirjian run after Lindsey Graham, like asking him questions like in real time.”
Tam said the Capitol Campus gives students access to coveted faculty and experiences due to its location near the Law Center.
“Because of our location, a good number of my professors either work in or have held major government positions,” Tam wrote. “When they talk about landmark cases, they are sometimes talking about a case they argued.”
Smith said she found her experience at the CALL truly valuable and hopes more students will take up the opportunity to learn in downtown D.C.
“I definitely encourage students to take advantage of the classes offered at the CALL. I feel like it really supplements your learning, just from the accessibility to people like the professors that are professionals and leaders in their field,” Smith said. “The experiences I got from this class are unlike any other class I’ve taken at Georgetown.”