They were reading textbooks intently in the stairwell of Gaston Hall before the event, and proofreading their essays as they waited to be let out of the Hall afterwards, but despite being in the heat of finals season, Georgetown students had packed Gaston Hall by 11:15 a.m. to hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak about the Obama Administration’s Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century at noon.
“[It's] one of those quasi-legitimate reasons for taking a break,” Clinton told the audience of students, faculty, administrators, and press.
Before she began her remarks, Clinton praised Georgetown for the thought and research its members contribute to the subjects of human rights, interreligious dialogue, and international relations.
“Thank you for training the next generation of civil rights advocates,” she said, adding that she was grateful that all students, even those who were not focused on these issues, “leave this university with [an appreciation for them] imbued in their hearts and minds.”
Above her, the IHS symbol for Jesus, which caused a stir among some Catholics when University officials covered it up when President Barack Obama spoke in April, was uncovered. (“The State Department agreed to use our standard backdrop for this address,” Director of Media Relations Andy Pino wrote in an e-mail).
Clinton was introduced by the International Relations Club’s Jasdeep Singh (SFS ’10) (or “Jas,” if you’re the Secretary) and University President John DeGioia, who called Clinton “a champion of human dignity and human worth both here and abroad … especially of women and children.”