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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



Aerial view of campus from the east








  Campus in 1930











First issue of The Hoya appears on January 14

18 foreign service students spend June and July in Venezuela, studying trade and economics at the University of Caracas. They stay with local families to practice their Spanish. This may be the first study abroad program undertaken by an American university

Dental School installs its first x ray machine

Georgetown Publicity Bureau is set up. Staffed by students, its aim is to promote the University by supplying stories to newspapers across the country

Law School opens its new library on December 4 and marks its 50th anniversary




20,000 seat football stadium is proposed for the far northwest of campus, at a cost of $35,000. Less than a decade later, this site becomes home to the Medical-Dental Building and the varsity athletic field

First students graduate from the Foreign Service School

First Visitation sister earns a master’s degree (see entries for 1919 and 1923)

Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Commander in Chief of the Allied armies during World War I, is awarded an honorary degree on November 16. He is visiting D.C. as France’s representative at the Limitation of Armament Conference held on November 11

After spending almost two years fighting with the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe, Boston bull terrier "Stubby"comes to Georgetown with Law student J. Robert Conroy and serves as Georgetown’s mascot until 1924




Five Georgetown students are among the ninety-eight people killed on January 28, when the roof of the Knickerbocker Theatre in Adams Morgan collapses under the weight of accumulated snow after a blizzard (which came to be known as the Knickerbocker blizzard) drops 28" of snow on D.C. 

Georgetown Endowment Association is set up with a goal of raising $5 million for the Greater Georgetown capital campaign.  The Association is Georgetown’s first formally organized fund-raising operation




Pan American Students Association is inaugurated on January 28. Its aim is to encourage intellectual interaction among students from the Americas 

Rifle team wins the National Intercollegiate Championships of Rifle Clubs affiliated with the NRA in March. The team accumulates a score of 3,934 out of a possible 4,000, the highest ever attained in the competition

First Visitation sister earns a Ph.D.(see entries for 1919 and 1921)

Sophie A. Nordhoff-Jung, M.D., is hired as instructor of gynecology in the Medical School; she is the first woman to join the University faculty.  She is promoted to associate professor in 1935

Admission requirements for the Law School change; students now must have a least one year of college credits 




Charles W.. Lyons, S.J.  becomes president

Dental School becomes a charter member of the American Association of Dental Schools

Lou Little becomes coach of the football team




Admission requirements for the Law School change again; students now must have a least two years of college credits

Admission requirements for the Dental School change; students must have at least one year of pre-dental college work. College introduces a pre-dental program to meet this need




Golf becomes a varsity sport

New North opens in June after its completion was delayed for nearly three months by a bricklayers’ strike




Georgetown Preparatory School and Georgetown University legally separate

Elmer Ripley is hired to coach the Hoya basketball team. He has an immediate impact and his first squad wins 12 of its 13 games. He leaves in 1929




W. Coleman Nevils, S.J. becomes president. During his tenure, despite the depressed national economy, the Medical-Dental Building and Copley and White-Gravenor Halls are constructed 

Georgetown joins the Intercollegiate Golf Association. At season’s end, sophomore Maurice McCarthy takes the Intercollegiate individual title and the Georgetown squad finishes second to Princeton in the team competition




Dental School begins a Dental Hygiene program, restricted solely to women students. An intense 35 week program consisting of lectures, recitations, lab work, and practice in assisting in clinics, it is terminated in 1937 due to declining enrollments. Women cannot enroll as DDS students until 1954




Founders Day is revived by President Coleman Nevils. He changes the date from January 23 (John Carroll bought the first part of campus on January 23, 1789) to March 25 (settlers from England - including three Jesuits - made their initial landfall at St. Clement’s Island, Maryland on March 25, 1634) 

Medical-Dental Building opens on Reservoir Road and the Medical and Dental Schools move onto campus for the first time. Originally, this building is planned for 37th Street just outside the main gates. However, President Coleman Nevils moves it to Reservoir Road




Copley Hall opens on February 16. It is completed $125,000 under budget. The depressed state of the national economy lowers building costs. Additionally, the University saves money on materials by buying 7000 tons of granite and sandstone from the old M Street Bridge over Rock Creek which was demolished in 1929, and incorporating them into the building




Quadrangle is bricked

Foreign Service School classes move to Healy Hall from the Law School building

Leo Sexton, C’1930, wins a gold medal in the shot put at the Los Angeles Olympics




Phil Gamma Mu chapter of the National Social Science Honor Society is organized

Ahead of the four-day national banking holiday in March that keeps all banks shut, the University, warned of the move by a local bank, withdraws  $200,000 in cash to ensure it can continue to operate

Georgetown Dental Journal, a student-edited publication, begins

White-Gravenor opens in November. Originally intended to house chemistry labs and lecture halls, by the time construction starts it has changed to a combination of labs, classrooms, and administrative space

Foreign Service School announces in April that students can pay tuition in installments




Genevieve G. Brady, philanthropist and widow of New York financier Nicholas F. Brady, who had donated literary manuscripts and first editions collected by her late husband to Georgetown, becomes the first women to receive an honorary degree 

Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the dental honor society, is established

Lyndon Baines Johnson of Johnson City, Texas enrolls in the Law School for the 1934-1935 academic year. He then moves back to Texas

Mask and Bauble performance of The Tavern on December 5 is the first performance by a Georgetown drama group to include women in the cast. Students from Trinity College play the female parts. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attends the performance




Arthur A. O’leary, S.J. becomes president, July 2




Foreign Service School establishes an Undergraduate Division of Business and Public Administration to prepare students for careers in accounting, entrepreneurship and government service

Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, the Papal Secretary of State, visits campus on October 22 and is awarded an honorary degree by Georgetown. The Cardinal is elected to the Papacy in 1939 and assumes the name Pius XII




Elmer Rilpey returns as basketball coach. In 1939, Georgetown wins a share of the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball Conference (EIBC) and in 1943 advances to the NCAA finals

James S. Ruby becomes secretary of the Alumni Association. He is tasked with locating and organizing alumni across the country ahead of the University’s 150th anniversary. A monthly Alumni Bulletin begins




The Hoya publishes an editorial condemning the decision of DAR to refuse world-renowned singer Marian Anderson permission to perform in Constitution Hall because of her race , March 1. The editorial states: [the decision] has gone against and repudiated one of the proud boasts of the American people, that all men are created free and equal

Georgetown celebrates its sesquicentennial. More than 1500 alumni return to campus for festivities. As part of the celebration, Georgetown Day is held on September 11 at the New York World’s Fair

Sailing Club is established


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