When SCS opened its doors to admitted students in late spring for a series of special events, future Hoyas experienced the distinctiveness of a Georgetown education. Upon entering 640 Massachusetts Avenue, a team of friendly staff welcomed prospective students with signature Hoya hospitality. Some were probably not expecting the nature of their welcome to the downtown campus. Just outside of the main auditorium, staff enthusiastically introduced the “Spirit of Georgetown,” the nine values that Georgetown aspires to animate in its community. These values, grounded in the university’s Jesuit heritage, like People for Others, Cura Personalis, and Community in Diversity, come alive for students, staff, and faculty in unique ways across the university.
The SCS staff team, who came together in order to plan outreach and events that more deeply engage the student community, helped admitted students appreciate how to make these values their own by posting notes to publically displayed poster boards. By the end of the night, these boards were filled with a colorful arrangement of personal testimonies reflecting the inclusive and invitational way that Georgetown integrates its mission. To spark the imagination of future students, staff shared their own perspectives on the meaning of the Jesuit values along with printed statements from the student members of the Hoya Professional 30, an annual cohort of students selected in recognition of their outstanding accomplishments inside and outside of the classroom.
Framed as “Start Your Student Story,” the introduction to Georgetown’s distinctive values-based education continued that evening during a panel discussion. Led by Global Hospitality Leadership Faculty Director Dr. Erinn Tucker, students and alumni from across the SCS degree programs reflected on how Georgetown inspired them to pursue holistic personal transformation in the course of study. While individual alumni perspectives reflected the differences of professional discipline and personal experience, the alumni all expressed a similar idea: education at Georgetown SCS is about more than taking classes, earning grades, and growing as a professional. As a Jesuit institution of higher education, Georgetown is committed to purposeful and transformational learning that inspires students to seek justice, pursue the common good, and grow as whole persons attentive to their intellectual, spiritual, and emotional lives. Panelists described how their foundational course in Ethics, professionally-relevant Capstone project, program-organized community gatherings, service projects, and friendships all shaped a deeper experience of professional and continuing education. This well-rounded approach to the student experience was on full display during a joyful and spirited networking reception that followed the panel.
All of us at Georgetown are invited to make our Jesuit heritage a meaningful part of our work. So what do the Jesuit values in the Spirit of Georgetown mean to you?