The historic $50 million donation announced Tuesday is the largest monetary gift in Georgetown’s history to focus on athletics and will be used to renovate Multi-Sport Facility and expand a three-year-old leadership program designed for students engaged in intercollegiate athletics.
This donation, in conjunction with the university’s $62 million commitment to constructing the John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletics Center, illustrates a fiscal preference toward athletics at the expense of other deserving programs at Georgetown. Although this momentous donation will undeniably enrich the student-athlete experience at Georgetown, future donors should consider valuable but underfunded programs as potential avenues for donation in order to ensure balance on the Hilltop.
Georgetown’s severely underfunded music program exemplifies this trend. The recent emergence of the live music community GU Jam Sesh alongside student-run record label Clock Hand Records demonstrates a passion for music among Hoyas. Nevertheless, the music department’s budget could be expanded to increase the amount of programming and practice space on campus.
Increased funding could also uphold students’ fundamental interests on campus. Last year, the university considered merging the LGBTQ Center, the Women’s Center and the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access into a blanket diversity conglomerate in the interest of budget constraints. A donation meant to support diversity at Georgetown could cement the independence of these sites of identity as well as allow for new diversity initiatives, including the establishment of a disability cultural center, interpretation services for deaf students and students with partial hearing loss and support for the potential African American studies major.
Ultimately, the university’s principles must inform how it values different resources — and only a change in the interests and priorities of alumni, encouraged by the university, can effectively change Georgetown’s allocation of money. Georgetown is home to a diverse student body that spans a spectrum of interest and identity. Hoyas deserve equal access to well-funded facilities and initiatives geared toward their intellectual pursuits.