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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



President Reagan stands next to Coach John Thompson and members of the Hoya basketball team holding a Hoya shirt




  Hoyas win the NCAA

  Championships, 1984







Villa le Balze, a 26 room villa, and three acres of land in Fiesole, Italy, are donated by Marquesa Margaret Rockefeller de Larrain, the only surviving granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller.  The donation is made in memory of her father, educator Charles A. Strong, who built the villa in 1920 and lived in it until his death in 1940

Office of Affirmative Action is set up, headed by Rosemary Kilkenny Sabai

African Studies Program and Asian Studies Program are established

Grace Notes are founded




Words to Georgetown’s Alma Mater, written in the 1890s, are updated to remove references to Sons of Georgetown

Mary Briese Matheron is the first woman to be hired as a full time coach for women’s basketball

Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of Great Britain, is awarded an honorary degree on February 2

University returns a more than $600,000 gift from the Government of Libya to endow a professorship in the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies on February 23

Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, receives an honorary degree on August 8

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program begins

Hoya basketball games move to the  Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, a venue that can accommodate over 19,000, in contrast to McDonough Gym which seats 4,400. To ensure that students can easily attend the games, all student season ticket holders are eligible for a free bus shuttle service to and from Landover




Edward B. Bunn Intercultural Center is dedicated

Mother Teresa Bojaxhiu receives an honorary degree on May 30

Madeleine Albright is appointed as Director of the new Women in Foreign Service Program




First course in Women’s Studies is offered in the spring

President Gerald Ford receives an honorary degree as part of the ceremonies to re-dedicate Old North on November 2. The Business Administration School moves into the building

Black Movements Dance Theater is Established. This artistic dance group expresses cultural and ethnic diversity through a unique style of performance representing African American themes

Village B (later Alumni Square) partially opens. The remaining units open the following year

Library acquires its one millionth volume, a first edition of Milton’s Paradise Lost




Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) is founded

Georgetown defeats Houston in the NCAA basketball championship by a score of 84-75 on April 2. Utilizing his team’s remarkable depth, Coach John Thompson, Jr. is able to keep sending in fresh players and Houston is unable to counter them. Five Hoyas, including Patrick Ewing, score in double figures. Ewing also leads the team in rebounding and is named tournament MVP

History Professor Michael Foley dies unexpectedly in June. He had taught at Georgetown since 1967. Extremely popular with colleagues and students alike, College seniors twice voted to award him the Bunn Award for Faculty Excellence, in 1974 and 1983

Black Movements Dance Theatre is established

Construction on the Leavey Center begins on November 9




Joint J.D.-MBA program begins in the Business Administration School

“Sweater game” is played at Madison Square Garden, February 27. This game between the #1 ranked St. John’s and #2 Georgetown is highly anticipated. Before tip-off, Coach John Thompson opens his jacket and reveals a t-shirt with an identical pattern to the “lucky” sweater which St. John’s head coach, Lou Carnesca, always wears to games. Whether boosted by Coach Thompson’s apparel or not, the game ends in a 85-69 Hoya victory

Patrick Ewing graduates from Georgetown College. National Player Of The Year in 1985 and Big East Defensive Player Of The Year, 1982-1985, he is the first choice in the NBA draft. The New York Knicks make him the highest paid rookie with a contract that will pay $16 million over five-eight years. On the Sunday after the draft, the Knicks receive 1,000 ticket requests

John J. DeGioia is appointed as Dean of Student Affairs

Provost announces a 5-year plan for affirmative action in faculty hiring




Board of Directors votes in September to divest University holdings in companies with financial interests in South Africa. The decision follows protests on campus by the Student Coalition against Apartheid and Racism, including a two-week sit-in at White-Gravenor 

First issue of Black Nemesis is published in December. Its stated purpose is to provide a forum for Black students to publish scholarly and literary materials about issues of particular interest to Black students.  It will also challenge mainstream opinion on campus

President Timothy Healy is named one of the five most effective college presidents by a poll of higher education  leaders

Village C opens

Philodemic Society debates against the National Debate Team of the Soviet Union




ANC President Oliver Tambo speaks in Gaston Hall on January 27

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein (now the King of Jordan) earns a master’s degree in international affairs from the Foreign Service School

Healy Hall is designated as a National Historic Landmark 

Women’s Studies becomes a minor program

Board of Directors votes to phase out the Dental School over the next three years due to declining enrollment




The Stewards, a secret society which does not admit women, is exposed and announces its dissolution in February

First issue of The New Press, a women's journal is published.  Founded by a group of ten undergraduates, headed by senior Soraya L. Chemaly, the publication is intended to bring greater focus to women's issues

Georgetown begins a year-long celebration of its 200th anniversary with the dedication of the Leavey Center on September 30




Coach John Thompson stages a protest over changes to the NCAA freshman eligibility rules. Walking off the court just before the Hoyas' home game against Boston College on January 14, he also refuses to coach the team's next game at Providence. His protest focuses national attention on issues of economic and educational discrimination and the NCAA reverses the rule change at its 1990 convention

First issue of The Blackboard appears in the spring. It comes about after Kirk Gillums-El proposes to the Executive Board of the Black Student Alliance that a news journal be created to broaden the scope of views on campus 

Judy Areen is appointed as the first woman Dean of the Law Center

Center for Business and Public Policy is established

Tony Johnson returns to Georgetown as crew coach, He retires in 2014

Timothy S. Healy, S.J. resigns as president to assume the position of president of the New York Public Library

Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J. becomes president. During his tenure, the endowment triples and sponsored research and development expenditures increase by 231%


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