Welcome back to the work week, people.
Halloween in and of itself could have kept us plenty busy, what with the need to find a costume, carve a pumpkin and practice covering our eyes every five seconds so as not to ever catch anything even remotely frightening while watching “The Exorcist” in Gaston Hall.
But Friday night was a big night on campus, and not just because some were already decked out in their spooky best. The gargantuan tent that had been sitting on the front lawn for days finally started to fill with tables, chairs, a dance floor and eventually, spectacular food and drinks. The lights that had been carefully placed in front of some of our gorgeous historic buildings were about to be lit. And last but not least, we were to be told why all these wonderful things were being bestowed upon us.
We were celebrating the start of a new tradition at Georgetown, and that tradition would be one created specifically “for generations to come.”
I wish I could claim that last line as my own, but credit is due to the Office of Advancement and the University’s Board of Directors. The organization that coordinated the student portion of the event we all enjoyed Friday night, the 1634 Society, works closely with these offices to pioneer student involvement in an effort of this kind. I had a chance to talk to one of the society’s Board of Directors, Bryan Satterly (SFS ’13), and he explained to me the importance of the affair and what he hoped it would mean for Georgetown in the coming years.
Satterly began by informing me that the mission of the 1634 Society is to procure and protect the future of Georgetown and ensure Georgetown’s tradition of excellence. While I liked his buzzword, I couldn’t help but ask him, “What does that mean?”
According to Satterly, a recent study shows that over 80 percent of Georgetown graduates claim that their time on the Hilltop was life-changing. Yet, less than 30 percent of graduates gave back to their beloved institution last year. The 1634 Society is trying to change this statistic. Their Capital Campaign is a new initiative to raise $1.5 billion, in coordination with the 1634 Society by 2016, and they hope that this campaign will mark the beginning of a new tradition of philanthropy.
As I was thinking about what he said, I started to realize that this tradition is going to be different from the others that we celebrate in many ways. Most obviously, we won’t be able to take a snapshot recording our completion of the custom. But then, maybe we can. It won’t be a blurry action shot of someone jumping off John Carroll or running through the fountain in Dahlgren Quad, but it might be a picture of Healy in 25 years, still standing in all its glory, students pouring out of its doors. It will be those students who still receive world-class education because we gave back to the place that continues to give us so much.
The truth is, Georgetown is forever a part of our lives. We have learned here, we have lived here and we have grown here. For each of us, that means something a little different. Some of us will find future spouses here, some discover deep passions, and all of us will make lifelong friends. For these reasons and so many more, it is our duty to participate in this tradition so that those who come after us will have the opportunity to have the same life-changing experience that we did. It is our responsibility to help ensure our tradition of excellence by promoting a tradition of philanthropy for generations to come. Georgetown never really leaves us; how could we ever leave Georgetown?
Sydney Schauer is a junior in the College. She is a board member and the tour coordinator of Blue and Gray.IT’S TRADITION appears every other Tuesday.