Congratulations to The Hoya for 90 excellent years as a vital voice in the Georgetown University community.
One of Georgetown’s enduring values is a commitment to continuously building a vibrant, engaged community: one that responds to both individual and collective gifts, needs, backgrounds and concerns, and serves as a launching pad and home base to which one can return throughout life.
The Hoya plays a central role in this building process. It contributes to the dynamism of the community. It serves not only to keep people informed, but to raise important issues and provide a forum for disagreement, discussion and debate.
The Georgetown community has had an enormous influence on me. Like many alumni, I consider my four years as an undergraduate on the Hilltop to have been a transformative experience. It enabled me to believe in a life of many possibilities and in my potential to be a leader and to make a difference.
I graduated in 1968, a tumultuous period in our society. Going to school in Washington, D.C. and participating in the events of that time certainly influenced my views. But it was my engagement in the community of Georgetown that stimulated my critical thinking about my values, decisions and actions. It continues to this day.
From the moment I set foot on campus, I was amazed by my fellow students – their intelligence, knowledge, experience and ambition. People were brilliant and multidimensional. They were creative, fun and, very often, outrageous. In many ways, they seemed more worldly and sophisticated than I was.
We lived together in an intimate undergraduate community: one large enough that you could find your niche, yet small enough to be inclusive and nurturing. It was fueled by a truly student-centered faculty who genuinely cared about your thoughts and held high expectations for your development and performance.
It was a stimulating, provocative assembly of talented people. I built relationships listening to voices that challenged my frames of reference across multiple dimensions. I tested their perspectives as well.
I do not mean to describe the community exclusively as a hotbed of intellectual inquiry and reflection. It was not. There was ample partying and wonderfully ridiculous behavior. Wisconsin Avenue and M Street were thriving. Interpersonally, there was the full spectrum of melodrama, disagreements and feuds. Student politics was a blood sport.
But the combination of all this is what a vibrant community looks like.
For me, it was an energizing environment that provided the stimulus for self-examination. My relationships offered both a view of the world and a mirror to myself that pushed me to assess what I believed in and valued. It required that I understand my own strengths and weaknesses. It led me to make choices, both personal and professional, that have reaped tremendous fulfillment – choices that I am not certain I would have made without the benefit of my engagement in this community.
I made wonderful friendships at Georgetown that were nurtured by the intimacy of the community. The friendships have been valuable enough to have been sustained over the course of my life. I believe that they are so meaningful because of their foundation in a shared sense of self-discovery, which bonds us together.
This bond certainly reflects itself in the closeness of the class of 1968, our loyalty to one another and our widespread support of all things Georgetown.
The Georgetown community continues to be a home base for me. I have taken the opportunity to stay involved through the Alumni Admissions Program, the McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors, the Board of Regents and the Board of Directors. Each experience has presented the opportunity to build relationships with Hoyas from other eras and a new cadre of faculty. While not of the intensity of those of my undergrad years, these relationships have offered the same opportunity to see the world through experiences and perspectives of a phenomenally talented group of people, testing my assumptions and refining my points of view.
Through my involvement, I recognize that Georgetown today is a much more different – and even better – university than when I attended. I also see that the core value of building a community together endures. We are engaged within one another to capitalize on each of our individual gifts and experiences, and THE HOYA is a critical voice for this endeavor. Hoya Saxa!
Phil Marineau (COL ’68) has worked with LNK Partners. He has also served as the president of the Quaker Oats Company, the CEO of Pepsi North America, and the president and CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. “