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View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

Georgetown University Timeline

A timeline of significant events in the history of Georgetown University



Group picture of Nursing graduates in white floor length uniforms holding diplomas




  Nursing Class of 1912








Artist Brother Francis Schroen, S.J. is commissioned to decorate the interior of Healy Hall. His work includes the murals in Gaston Hall. He charges less than $830 to cover payments to his assistants and the cost of materials

Three Georgetown sprinters, Arthur F. Duffy, L’1903, William J. Holland, M’1903, and Edmund J. Minahan (enrolled in the Preparatory Department, 1899-1902) represent the U.S. at the Paris Olympics. They win four medals: one gold, two silver, and one bronze. This still stands as the highest combined medal total by Georgetown athletes at any single Olympics

The name Healy Hall is applied for the first time to the building previously known as the Main Building on September 17




Georgetown students publish their first yearbook, the Hodge Podge

Dental School opens in the fall with 29 students, including two from Turkey and one from Japan. Alexander Graham Bell is on the faculty

Jerome Daugherty, S.J. becomes president

Dr. George Kober becomes Dean of the Medical School.  He serves in that role until 1927




Training School for Nursing is founded

Samuel H. Apperious, captain of the baseball team, refuses to play in games against Harvard in 1903 and 1904 because Harvard’s shortstop is African American




South Building, the first building on campus, is demolished to make way for Ryan Hall. Ryan Hall is paid for by Ida M. Ryan of New York

Addition to the Georgetown University Hospital opens on 35th Street, expanding the number of available beds to 100

First Annual Georgetown Prom takes place at the New Willard, April 14. It is a benefit for the Crew team




David Hillhouse Buel, S.J. becomes president




First students graduate from the Training School for Nursing  on June 13

Electives are referenced in the catalog of the College of Arts and Science for the first time

Ryan Gym, like Ryan Hall a gift of Ida M. Ryan, opens in October 1906. Designed to serve a student body of around 250, it is used as a gymnasium until the opening of McDonough Gym in 1951. Today it is incorporated into the Davis Performing Arts Center

Maurice Joyce is hired to teach physical education classes.  He holds tryouts for a varsity basketball squad in December.  A man of many occupations, including circus performer, U.S. Marshall, and boxing coach to President Theodore Roosevelt,  Joyce is credited with introducing the game of basketball to Washington




Newly formed basketball team defeats its first varsity opponent, the University of Virginia, on February 9




Bill is introduced into Congress in March to extend P Street, Volta Place, Q Street, and Dent Place through campus to Foxhall Road. The bill is written by Representative Everis Anson Hayes of California who owns land west of campus and wants easier access to it. The University hires an attorney to fight the idea and ultimately prevails 

Georgetown students adopt the name Ye Domesday Book for their yearbook

Joseph Himmel, S.J. is appointed president in August. He is the fourth Jesuit in seven years to hold the post

Hospital expands again, along N street. More operating rooms, wards and a lab are added. The expansion is paid for by local merchant Abraham Lisner




Archer Christian, fullback for the University of Virginia football team, dies at the Georgetown University Hospital following injuries sustained in a game played at Georgetown in November. The playing of football is again suspended




Seismological Observatory is set up by Father Francis A. Tondorf, S.J. in a subterranean vault under the Quadrangle. Seismographic equipment remains in operation in various locations around campus until around 1970

After a period of obscurity, the Dramatic Association is reorganized through the efforts of Edmund A. Walsh, S.J. The first production by the revitalized group is All the Comforts of Home, a farce by William Gillette. The show is so well received that Fr. Walsh arranges to have it put on in New York, in the Astor Room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel

Football restarts with the College apparently satisfied that rule changes make the game safer




Executive Committee of the University’s Athletic Association votes on January 28 to suspend  crew for the rest of the academic year. The action is taken because crew is seen as a heavy drain on the athletic funds budget. The expectation is that the sport will resume the following year; however, it is five decades before it is again officially recognized at Georgetown

Mandolin and glee clubs are revived




Alphonsus J. Donlon, S.J. becomes President

John Carroll Statue is unveiled on May 4

Hospital expands with the addition of the E. Francis Riggs Memorial Building for Children’s and Maternity Service in May




Kober-Leclerc Memorial Wing is added to the Hospital, providing 48 additional beds, a pharmacological lab and a lecture room. It is paid for by Medical School Dean George M. Kober and named for his parents




Georgetown celebrates its 125th anniversary at commencement

Dennis P. Dowd, Jr. (C'1908) sails for France six days after War is declared and joins the French Foreign Legion. He is the first American to travel to Europe to enlist. He later trains as an aviator and dies in a plane crash near Paris in 1916

Albert Andrew "Al" Exendine, a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians, becomes Georgetown's head football coach, a position he holds until 1922




Outdoor swimming pool, 100 feet long by thirty feet wide, is built in the summer close to the present site of Harbin Hall. It is filled in by 1951

During the Georgetown-Army football game played at West Point on October 23, circumstances require the referee to issue a ruling that biting, while not explicitly prohibited by the rules, does constitute unnecessary roughness




Former President U.S. President William Howard Taft speaks to the 429 graduates at commencement; his remarks presage the U.S.'s entry into World War I: Coming to the present prospect of war, let us regard our position as a neutral. We have tried to be neutral but our rights as neutrals have been violated by Germany in subjecting our citizens to death without warning while traveling as they have the right to travel, on noncombatant vessels . . .

Total student enrollment is around 1280

Start of the fall semester is delayed for almost three weeks because of a polio outbreak. Infections rise during the summer months. As a result, public gatherings and meetings are cancelled and families warned to avoid amusement parks and swimming pools. Nationwide, the epidemic takes the lives of about 6,000 people and leaves thousands paralyzed

Vincent S. McDonough, S.J. becomes Director of Athletics, 1916. He serves in that position until 1928. McDonough Gym is named for him




After the United States declares war on Germany on April 6, a unit of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps is quickly formed on campus




John B. Creeden, SJ. becomes president on May 1.  He serves until 1924

First case of Spanish flu on campus is reported on September 26. By October 19, the height of the outbreak, there have been 80 cases and one student death. The Law and Medical Schools, both off campus, are closed for a month by the DC health commissioner. The College is able to continue classes for students living on campus because it is providing military instruction for a War Department program




Foreign Service School opens in February, with an initial enrollment of 62 students. The first school of its kind in the United States, its academic program has a dual emphasis on foreign commerce and diplomacy, both considered equally useful in promoting and sustaining world peace in the aftermath of World War I. 

First women earn bachelor's degrees from Georgetown University. These women are sisters at the neighboring Georgetown Visitation Convent. They are not enrolled as regular students and never come to campus; Georgetown faculty go to the Convent to teach classes

College seniors plant poplar trees on campus at Commencement to honor Georgetown alums killed in WWI

Younger students who are enrolled in by what this time is called Georgetown College Preparatory School move off-campus to Garrett Park, Maryland in September

Dramatic Association adopts a new name – the Mask and Bauble Club.  The name is chosen to reflect that the Club will perform both tragedies and comedies

Hospital expands to 36th and N Streets; its new building houses two additional wards and an x ray lab


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