Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies holds opening ceremony

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Although Georgetown’s School of Continuing Studies has been taking on downtown D.C. with a myriad of advertisements since the summer, last Tuesday marked the official ceremony celebrating the school’s new location at 640 Massachusetts Ave., N.W.

The ceremony, headed by the SCS Interim Dean Walter Rankin, was held in the new 91,000 square-foot building which is situated in the Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood of the city. It featured commentary from prominent Georgetown and D.C. community leaders, including Reverend Kevin O’Brien, city Mayor Vincent Gray, Provost Robert Groves, and University President John DeGioia.

At the beginning of the celebration was an opening prayer and formal blessing of the school led by O’Brien. In keeping with the Jesuit tradition of the university and the spirit of cura personalis, he asked that, “may the work done here encourage growth and wisdom [and] keep all of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors mindful of our need to care for the whole person”.

Next to speak on the profound impact of educational institutions within the city was Gray. Acknowledging that there are not many universities located downtown, he believes that the new location of the school “will be a catalyst for the continual buildup of Downtown and continuing the redefinition and…diversification of the downtown area itself.” In order to provide more jobs and stimulate economic growth in this area of the city, Gray hopes to “attract more people for a variety of reasons” with the new Georgetown campus.

Groves then went on to elucidate the broader vision of the SCS by comparing the school to a “young adult leaving the home nest and forming their own character in a way that is completely consistent with the values of the family.” In other words, he firmly believes that the Jesuit mission of ‘women and men’ for others is reflected in the school as people “seek to serve D.C. through the best programs [they] can invent for higher education.” He also points out the incredible diversity of the students that are drawn to the SCS, including “150 international students who have come … from over 20 countries.” Although the school has expanded rapidly over the past decade, Groves argues that its values continue to remain aligned with those of the university.

To conclude the ceremony, DeGioia reiterated previous notions of Georgetown’s SCS as an institution that remains committed to “the vibrancy and economic development of our region” as well as “one that is deeply invested in being an active community partner, a neighbor, and a citizen dedicated to both enriching and serving our district community.” That is, assuming the students do not throw loud parties on Saturday nights and disturb their new neighbors downtown.

Photo: Marisa Hawley/Georgetown Voice

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