HEALY – For President John DeGioia, the summer of 2016 ended just as they all have since he took over Georgetown University’s top job: with a mad dash to update each of the annual speeches he delivers with the appropriate years and names of special guests.
“Some names and dates we get to leave in there, like ‘John Carroll’ and ‘1789’,” said Monica Chase, Assistant to the President for Calendar Affairs, “But each convocation and graduation speech requires special attention to either the current year or a date a few years in the future…it’s all very complex.”
The Georgetown Board of Trustees added the stipulation to DeGioia’s contract to include appropriate information in his speeches after a copy editor at The Hoya realized in 2010 that University Presidents had been giving a brief biography of singer-songwriter Lionel Richie to introduce every special guest speaker for over two decades.
“We knew we had to make a change when Dr. Jane Goodall came to campus and President DeGioia told the audience that she had grown up on the campus of the Tuskegee Institute and was the principal author of ‘We Are the World,’” said Board Chairman Alan Fox.
When contacted by email, DeGioia responded in seconds with the following statement: “I send my best wishes to the class of ____ . Always remember, in the spirit of cura personalis, that ‘we are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start givin’.’”