Seniors convocate a second time, give GU even more money
Over 1,500 graduating students were crammed into McDonough Arena earlier today for their senior convocation.
Provost Robert Groves led the ceremony and introduced the two student speakers. Citlalli Alvarez (C ’15) and Alex O’Neill (C ’15) addressed their classes.
Alvarez spoke of her experience as a undocumented Latina student at Georgetown. She started off by reminding seniors of Georgetown’s reputation as a global institution of higher learning and later spoke about the recent civil unrest throughout the country. She emphasized students’ role as future leaders.
“Being a university community allows us the opportunity to learn from one another and to reach a deeper understanding of the implications of events occurring at this moment in history,” she said. “This year alone, with the leadership of our seniors, we’ve successfully organized for fair wages, a diversity requirement, a place to call Mi Casa, or my home. Students have died in for black lives and celebrated when there was the presence of a hate group on our campus. … Wherever we go, we carry the responsibility of global citizenship.”
O’Neill reminded Georgetown of its roots—literally and figuratively. Since the time of fragrant vegetation on the land of the Hilltop, “Georgetown has chosen to replace much of the natural charm with a more constructed vision of beauty.” He spoke about the recent, tragic earthquake in Nepal, where he had wrapped up a Boren scholarship only one year before, and encouraged fellow Hoyas to consider how they will one day play a role in rebuilding at this point in time in time and also during future tragic events.
“Service is at the very core of our Georgetown identities,” he said. “We are men and women—no, a spectrum of identities—for others. And we are resilient people.”
William Garard Godwin (C ’07) spoke after the students. He reminded students of the wise words they come to contact with everyday—from cura personalis to ad maiorem dei gloriam. For him, important events are always tied to wise words like these. Then, a confession.
“Recently, I was daydreaming in a late night graduate seminar on the Hebrew Bible at the Chicago Theological Seminary … Sitting there, tired from a long day of work, my eyes landed on a verse from the Book of Ecclesiastes: To increase learning is to increase heartache.”
“Friends, when you go with your heart to do what you have been called to do the old proverb will never fail you—your gift will make room for you,” he said. “Learning more about what the world needs is unfinished work. It’s new challenges, its dangers and shortcoming shave given me tremendous heartbreak yet unbreakable joy. … Look for a little heartache at daybreak every day.”
The class presented the school with a gift totaling $146,475.61. Over 1,200 students donated to the gift—marking a new record with 75 percent participation. A percentage match—totaling $75,000—was donated by the Board of Regents. The total of the two allocations will fund six scholarships through the 1789 Imperative.
The commencement will be followed by graduation ceremonies on Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
Photo: Georgetown University Twitter