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

New Students Welcomed to Hilltop

Under banners bearing Georgetown’s blue and gray, incoming freshmen were formally inducted into the class of 2006 at Saturday afternoon’s New Student Academic Convocation in McDonough Gymnasium.

The 1,753 first-year students filed in behind University Registrar John Q. Pierce, the grand marshall of this year’s Convocation, to the strains of a processional played by the Georgetown University Orchestra and the thunder of applause from the masses of parents, friends and faculty who spilled out of the stands of McDonough and crowded around television sets outside the gym to witness the event.

Speakers at the ceremony, including University President John J. DeGioia, Provost James J. O’Donnell and English professor John Glavin, each advised the first-year students to make the most of their four years on the Hilltop.

O’Donnell opened the ceremony with praise for the accomplishments of the class of 2006, which includes 349 class valedictorians, 54 class presidents and 44 National Merit Scholars, from 47 states and 43 other countries.

Student speaker Joanna Belcher (COL ’03) encouraged students to actively take advantage of the opportunities for exploration of the diverse cultures and ideas available at Georgetown and in Washington, D.C. “We state our statistics with pride,” Belcher said of the university’s wide representation of race, gender and ethnicity. “But they can easily remain just that: numbers.” She advised students to conquer any fears they may have about new experiences. “Don’t be afraid to break out of your comfort zone,” she said.

Belcher won last year’s Thomas P. McTighe prize, an award given to the undergraduate student chosen to address incoming students at New Student Convocation.

Glavin warned the freshman class of the potential stereotypes that are often held about students at elite universities. He illustrated his point with audio clips from Election, in which Reese Witherspoon’s fictional character attends Georgetown but calls the students, “Spoiled little rich kids who don’t know how lucky they [have] it.” Glavin contrasted this stereotype with the popular image of the neurotic, overachieving student, insisting that few people fall into such one-dimensional categories. He encouraged students to form their own distinct opinions and paths at Georgetown. “College, like the rest of life, is up to the individual,” Glavin said.

As the class of 2006 was presented to the crowd, they donned the traditional black graduation robes and recited the university’s honor pledge, reemphasizing their commitment to the Georgetown community.

New Student convocation has become a tradition at the university in recent years. Beginning in 1996, it has become a formal rite of passage initiating new students into the Georgetown community.

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya