Posts Tagged “Alumni”
Austin Tice (SFS ’02, LAW ’13), a freelance journalist for the Washington Post, McClatchy, and numerous other publications, is likely to have been taken into custody by the Syrian government, according to an article published today on McClatchy’s website. Tice, who had spent the summer in Syria traveling with rebel forces and reporting firsthand on the country’s civil war, has been missing since August 23, when his family reported that they had not heard from him in over a week.
According to McClatchy, a publishing company that distributes to newspapers, the law student, journalist, and former Marine infantry officer has been reported by Czech diplomats to be in the custody of the Syrian government after being detained by army forces in Daraya, a suburb of Damascus. The article also includes that the U.S. State Department has used official channels in attempt to discern information about Tice’s location and wellbeing, but offers no official information:
The U.S. State Department says the Syrian government has not responded to inquiries about Tice that were made through official channels and that U.S. diplomats were “working through our Czech protecting power in Syria to get more information on his welfare and whereabouts.”
The Washington Post offers similar information, adding a message from the publication’s executive editor urging his safe release:
“We’re investigating reports that Austin Tice is in the custody of Syrian authorities,” Marcus Brauchli, The Post’s executive editor, said in a statement. “If the reports are true, we urge these authorities to release him promptly, unharmed. Journalists should never be detained for doing their work, even — and especially — in difficult circumstances.”
Tice, who, like many journalists covering the conflict, entered Syria without a visa, has attracted the attention of advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, as well as the Committee to Protect Journalists, which reports that Syria is currently the most dangerous place in the world for journalists.
Vox will update this post as the story develops.
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Continuing this year’s parade of political (or just politically-minded) figures coming to campus, the University announced today via email that former President Bill Clinton will coming to campus this Friday, October 28, for a symposium entitled “Clinton-Gore Economics: Understanding the Lessons of the 1990s.” The event is in conjunction with the William J. Clinton Foundation, which aims at, according to its website, “alleviate poverty, improve global health, strengthen economies, and protect the environment” through partnerships and collaboration.
The event will also include two panel discussions, entitled “The Foundation: The 1993 Budget Fight and the Beginnings of a New Economy,” and “The Bridge: Harnessing the Innovation of the 1990s.” Notable participants include former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Vice President Joe Biden’s Chief of Staff Bruce Reed, Former Secretary of Housing and Human Development Henry Cisneros, and Georgetown University President Jack DeGioia.
Apparently, the University has decided to avoid the mob scene that was last year’s Obama line, and has instead chosen to give out tickets by lottery. Students must register for the lottery sometime before 7:00 p.m. tomorrow, and will be notified on Wednesday morning if they have been chosen. Winners are each allowed to bring one guest, who must be a current Georgetown student, staff member, or faculty. The event runs from 12:00 to 2:30 p.m., and anyone who cannot attend the entire event is asked not to register.
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As the University’s 2011 fiscal year came to a close on June 30, the number of young alumni donations is up 10 percent, and the class of 2010 is leading the pack.
“This has been a banner year for our young alumni program,” said Assistant Director of Advancement Benjamin Jarrett. “These numbers, while not final, are incredibly impressive.”
This marks two years that the Office of Advancement has posted increased donor yield from members of the five most-recently graduated classes. At the end of fiscal year 2010, around 30 percent more students had donated compared with the previous year.
At 509 donors, the class of 2010 broke a previous young alumni record of 488 set by the class of 2008.
According to Jarrett, this year’s young alumni also donated at a rate 5 percent higher than other graduates. The class of 2010 had the highest participation rate at 34 percent, but no individual class fell below 25 percent yield.
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When it comes to the owners of sports teams, Georgetown has been able to cultivate both the good and the villainous. For the latter group, look no further than Frank McCourt (COL ’75), owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt (COL ’75).
As a Dodgers fan, I’ve watched (and quietly wept) as the couple dismantled a once great franchise. Now that Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, has taken control of the team’s operations, and rejected a television deal with Fox that would have bailed McCourt out, it is time to delve into what makes this current member of the Georgetown Board of Directors the most hated man in Los Angeles.
The McCourts, who met as Georgetown students, purchased the Dodgers in 2004, and since then, the team has witnessed its greatest postseason runs (two losses to the Phillies in the National League Championship Series) since Kirk Gibson’s World Series home run in 1988 (which I missed being alive for by 11 months).
But a few successful seasons aside, the McCourts made some changes that deterred fans from being able to enjoy their beloved team—prices on tickets, parking, and food skyrocketed. In 2004, the cheap seats cost $6, which had been their price since 1992. The top deck now costs $12 in advance and $15 day-of-game. It’s another $15 to park at the stadium. They also banned moving between sections during the game, an especially sucky rule since anyone who’s been to a Nationals game knows how much fun it is when this rule isn’t enforced.
But Dodgers fans aren’t the only ones who can complain about the rising prices of baseball tickets. What we can complain about, though, are the outrages committed by the McCourts using team money. The team paid Frank $5 million and Jamie $2 million per year from Dodgers-related business (Frank had split the franchise into numerous entities). Two of their sons also received $600,000 per year, while one was attending school at Stanford and the other had a full-time job at Goldman Sachs.
The team’s funds also enabled the McCourts to buy four homes in Los Angeles, for the low, low price of $89 million. And oh yeah, did I mention these salaries were almost entirely tax-free? According to Jamie McCourt’s court filings, one of Frank’s financial advisors said that the couple “used the business to fund whatever they needed, or wanted, as if it was their personal ATM or credit card”.
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The White House announced yesterday that Kathryn Ruemmler (LAW ’96) – a Georgetown Law graduate – would replace Bob Bauer as President Obama’s legal counsel at the end of the month.
“Kathy is an outstanding lawyer with impeccable judgment,” President Obama said in a press release. “Together, Bob and Kathy have led the White House Counsel’s office, and Kathy will assure that it continues to successfully manage its wide variety of responsibilities.”
While at Georgetown Law, Ruemmler was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal. After graduation, she worked as a law clerk for Honorable Timothy K. Lewis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She subsequently served as associate counsel in the Clinton Administration. In 2001, she was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney.
In 2003, Ruemmler was picked to assist in the federal prosecution of energy giant Enron’s founder, Kenneth Lay, and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling for accounting fraud. She became deputy director of the Enron Task Force in 2005.
President Obama appointed Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice in 2009. She joined the Office of Counsel to the President in 2010.
Photo: Georgetown Law
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Georgetown alumnus Jason Ryan‘s first book “Jackpot: High Times, High Seas, and the Sting That Launched the War on Drugs” tells the story of “gentlemen smugglers,” southern marijuana drug lords who smuggled pot on yachts in the 70s and early 80s. The book is thoroughly researched, and includes in depth profiles of dealer personalities, along with lengthy interviews, personal correspondence, and news clips. The perfect gift for your “artsy” friend.
Recommended to fans of Thomas Pynchon, or people who actually read James Franco‘s short stories.
Ryan lives in Charleston, South Carolina and has been a reporter for South Carolina newspaper The State.
“Jackpot” will be available for purchase at online retailers on 4/20. Yes, really.
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Slightly Stoopid w/ Fishbone, Dumpstaphunk
Wednesday, February 16, 9:30 Club ($29.50), doors at 6:30 p.m.
Slightly Stoopid are a dub-punk bad akin to Sublime. Originally founded in San Diego, Slightly Stoopid has played shows around the world for fifteen years. This second was added because their first show sold out. Fishbone are a funk rock band that takes influences from all over. They’ve been active since 1979. Dumpstaphunk is the band of Ivan Neville, son of Aaron Neville, who plays New Orleans style R&B.
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Last night, Georgetown University hosted the official launch for the book Georgetown Icons by Leslie Little (COL ’86).
The $150 book is filled with photographs of Georgetown’s most beautiful scenery, institutional memories in block quotes, and historical documents reproduced on vellum.
President John DeGioia introduced the book, lauding Georgetown and the wonder of knowledge and learning it inspires in its students.
Dean of Georgetown College Chester Gillis took the podium and told the story of the book’s inception. Little contacted Gillis in 2009, asking if she could show her first publication, Paris Icons, at Georgetown. On seeing the international award-winning photo book, Gillis requested a similar one be made of Georgetown for alumni and prospective students alike.
According to Little, “Georgetown Icons is, at its core, a love story.”
To create the book, Little sorted over 6,000 digital pictures, the entire archive collection, and 137 inscribed plates. She said that her experience slaving over documents on fifth floor of Lauinger Library reminder her of her own honor’s thesis in history.
“I lived and breathed Georgetown Icons for the last year,” she said.
Underlying the book, she wanted the experience to be a fully sensuous one, transcending photographs or history to become a piece of art inspired by synchronicity.
She aimed to depict Georgetown holistically, covering every school and every campus, the founding, the Chimes, basketball, and the Jesuit Cemetery, in which 16 former university presidents are buried.
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Stemming from an approximately $75 million donation given in late 2008, Georgetown University has created four diverse field chairs in memory of Robert McDevitt (COL ’40) and his wife Catherine.
McDevitt left the University one-third of his estate prior to his death in September 2008. His wife died in April of the same year.
The McDevitts were devout Catholics—having also left significant donations to the Diocese of Syracuse and LeMoyne College—and the field chairs created are meant to reflect “areas of personal meaning to them that are so critical to our ongoing efforts to enhance our academic quality and Catholic and Jesuit mission,” according to President John Degioia.
Mark Murphy will be the Robert L. McDevitt and Catherine H. McDevitt chair for religious philosophy. James Freericks holds the same chair in physics, Ophir Frieder as the chair for computer science and information processing, and law professor Milton Regan as the chair in jurisprudence.
McDevitt ran the family funeral directing business, but made a significant amount of his fortune from IBM stock. His mother was the secretary to the president of the company’s predecessor and purchased stock in the company early in IBM’s history.
h/t and photo: Georgetown University News
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This morning, Senior Vice President for Strategic Development Dan Porterfield (COL ’83) announced that he will leave Georgetown to become the 15th President of Franklin & Marshall College. Porterfield will not officially join the small liberal arts college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania until March 1, but his transition will begin next month.
“I am excited and honored at the prospect of leading Franklin & Marshall College, a historic American institution poised for remarkable influence in the 21st century,” Porterfield said in a press release.
After graduating from Georgetown in 1983, Porterfield studied English at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Before returning to campus in 1997, Porterfield worked as a senior aide for the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala and earned his PhD in English at the City University of New York.
Porterfield will leave Georgetown with a reputation for doing a bit of everything; he contributed to two ten-year campus plans, developed relationships with Teach for America and the Cristo Rey Network, helped plan capital fund raising campaigns, and oversaw the final steps of the University’s partnership negotiations with MedStar Health.
As a Georgetown faculty member, Porterfield was awarded two of the University’s highest faculty honors, the 2010 SFS Faculty Excellence Award and the 2008 Georgetown College Edward Bunn, S.J. Award. In 2003, he also recieved the Dorothy Brown Award for his commitment to academic and student advancement.
“Dan’s work at Georgetown will leave a lasting legacy in numerous ways, from successfully launching young people on exciting career and fellowship paths to developing innovative student programs, and from enhancing our Athletics program to fostering extraordinary civic engagement,” University President John DeGioia wrote in a statement released by Franklin & Marshall. “I will miss his friendship, advice and counsel, but know that our loss is truly Franklin & Marshall’s gain.”
In an email sent this afternoon to his English class, Porterfield expressed excitement about the position.
I’m writing as early as I possibly could to tell you that today I’m being introduced as the next President of Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, effective March 1. F & M is an outstanding liberal arts college, and it is a great honor and opportunity to serve as its next leader.
I write, of course, with mixed feelings. Our class has inspired me and renewed my desire to make a greater difference for students in undeserved communities. As we discussed in class yesterday, just like for you it’s also important for me to continue thinking about the ways I’d like to give and grow more, and this new role is one way.
We’ll have plenty of time to spend together in the coming months. I value your friendship and very much appreciate your support.
Porterfield will visit Franklin & Marshall’s campus at least once every week until he formally takes on his new position next spring. According to Margaret Moore, University public affairs specialist, he will “certainly” finish the semester at Georgetown.
Porterfield will replace former President John Fry, who resigned in March to become the president of Drexel University.
[Editor's note: After the jump, we've re-published Porterfield's greatest moment as a Georgetown administrator.]
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